The Gila County Sheriff’s Office has announced a “GO” evacuation notification for both the Dripping Springs area and for all residents in El Capitan on both sides of Highway 77.

The GO! – Evacuate order means danger in the area is imminent and life threatening.

• Residents should evacuate immediately to a shelter or with family/friends outside of the affected area. Residents should avoid close contact with those who are sick and should practice public health recommendations when relocating.

• If you choose to ignore this advisement, you must understand emergency services may not be able to assist you further.

• Follow instructions from emergency personnel, stay on designated evacuation routes and avoid closed areas.

There is a Red Cross Evacuation Shelter at the High Desert Middle School, 4000 High Desert Dr., Globe. Large animal sheltering is currently available at the Birch Stockyard at 2822 N. Hwy. 188 in Globe and the Apache Junction rodeo grounds.

According to Inciweb, the Telegraph Fire is burning in timber with grass and understory, brush and timber with litter and understory, and has warranted numerous evacuation status alerts.

Firefighters are protecting values in Top of the World, Superior, Claypool, Miami and Globe. Another primary goal is keeping the fire south of U.S. 60 and protecting public and private property, infrastructure, firefighter and public safety as the fire threatens them.

This is a fast moving and dynamic fire, according to Inciweb reports from Monday morning.

The Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team assumed responsibility of the Telegraph Fire early Sunday morning and over 900 fire personnel are fighting this fire. Fire personnel and fire traffic will continue to be noticeable in the area.

The fire remained active throughout the night as humidity recovery only reached 10%. It continued actively backing down ridges and drainages on the northern, eastern, and southern aspects of Pinal Mountain. In the early afternoon, Sunday, fire was spotted east of Pioneer Pass road, became established at the base of East Mountain, and made a crown fire run to the top of East Mountain.

Weather conditions remained conducive for extreme fire behavior to continue in Pioneer Basin, Mill Creek and Sixshooter Canyon through the overnight hours.

The fire will continue spreading to the north, east, and south from Pinal Mountain.

Easterly growth will likely spread downslope over East Mountain and into Arrastra Canyon.

Fire will spread through Sixshooter Canyon and Icehouse Canyon through the pine, but slow considerably when moving from pine into much younger manzanita.

Southerly growth into Pioneer Basin and southwesterly growth toward the FS651 road is expected.

During the next 24 hours another night of extremely poor humidity recovery and light winds will allow fire to maintain momentum overnight and into the following day.

Westerly growth will likely connect to the main Telegraph Fire along the 222FS651 road.

Fire will continue to aggressively pulse within Pioneer Basin without establishing a consistent direction of sustained growth.

Weather concerns

High pressure will continue to bring very hot temperatures to the fire area this week. There is an excessive heat warning until Friday night for the fire area. The center of the high will drift near the Four Corners this week, which will bring an easterly flow over the fire. This will start to transport mid-level moisture westward, which will lead to more clouds, virga showers, dry thunderstorms, and eventually the possibility of rain by the end of the week. Any storm that does form has the potential for strong gusty winds and dry lightning.

An area of strong high pressure will produce near-record to record heat this week across much of northern Arizona. Isolated thunderstorms will be possible over the mountains starting on Tuesday as moisture values slightly increase across Arizona.

Contact the reporter at tmcquerrey@payson.com

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