Oxbow Fire

The Oxbow Fire started on the northbound side of State Route 87 Monday morning at milepost 247.

A brush fire on northbound State Route 87 closed one lane of travel for several hours on Monday.

About 10 a.m. June 29, motorists flooded 911 dispatchers with calls, reporting seven-foot flames in the brush on the east side of the highway at milepost 247.

The Payson Fire Department and U.S. Forest Service responded to the “Oxbow” fire, so named given it was half a mile from the Oxbow Estates community.

Given the winds, the fire flashed through the grasses and up the hills. A second fire started thanks to an ember.

“While the initial fire was being suppressed, an ember traveled about 100 yards away into one of the Payson Ranger District’s mastication fuel breaks and started a second fire,” according to a release from the Tonto National Forest. “Both fire starts were contained at a total of six acres.”

No structures were damaged.

The National Weather Service issued a red flag warning Monday across much of Arizona, noting fire danger is at a critical level given the winds and dry conditions.

Given these conditions, crews made a quick and “very aggressive initial attack” to contain the fire.

Contact the editor at abechman@payson.com

Contact the editor at abechman@payson.com

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