August 31, 2009
Residents of the Whispering Pines and Beaver Valley subdivisions have been evacuated and a shelter set up at the Payson High School gym due to the Water Wheel Fire, north of Payson. Forest Service officials say the fire began in the vicinity of the Water Wheel Campground, which is located on Houston Mesa Road (Rt. 199). The fire began south of Whispering Pines subdivision. It was reported around 4 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 30. The Gila County Sheriff’s Office is supervising the evacuation. Combating the fire as of Sunday afternoon were two hearvy air tankers, a helicopter and 15 engines.
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Whispering Pine residents can go home at 5 p.m. Tuesday.