Salt fire

After the Salt Fire crossed Highway 188 Wednesday, crews worked to contain a 300 acre fire. The highway is currently closed between mileposts 225 and 231, south of Roosevelt Lake.

The lightning-caused Salt Fire has grown to 2,762 acres Wednesday after starting two miles southwest of the junction of highway 188 and 288 Monday evening.

It is 0% contained.

On Tuesday night, strong winds from a passing thunderstorm pushed the fire west toward Highway 188, which forced the closure of Highway 188 from Copper Cities Road, milepost 225 to milepost 231. A portion of State Route 288 from the Highway 188 junction to Forest Road 465, milepost 262, was also closed.

The wind shift Tuesday night prompted firefighters to set backburns along Highway 188 and State Route 288 to secure the west flank of the fire. On Wednesday, crews are working to contain a 300 acre area where the fire crossed Highway 188. Firefighters are also working to protect three structures in Pinal Creek along with mine infrastructure and power lines. There are no community evacuations in effect.

Resources assigned to the Salt Fire include eight engines, one hotshot crew, one water tender, one ambulance, and an air attack plane. Additional resources are on order.

Southwest Area Incident Management Team 5 (Incident Commander Bernal) has been ordered to manage the Salt, Gin, and Griffin Fires.

They will assume command of the incident on Thursday. With multiple lightning-sparked wildfires burning on the Tonto National Forest, ordering an incident management team will allow local fire resources to remain available for initial attack fires and other incidents.

The Forest Service is being assisted by the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, ADOT, DPS, SRP, APS, and Gila County.

For updates on highway closures and restrictions, visit the #ADOT website at https://www.az511.com/

Bull Fire

The latest release on the Bull Fire has it as 368 acres.

The fire is burning on the Bull Mesa Flat in the Mazatzal Wilderness, 15 miles west of Payson. It started on Sunday and was lightning caused.

The fire is backing into the Red Metal Drainage at the confluence of Bull Springs Canyon. Masticators have been ordered and crews will be prepping values at risk over the next few days as a precautionary measure. There are no threats to private land or structures at this time.

There are no threats to any communities, and there are no evacuations in effect. Light to moderate smoke may be visible from the communities of Payson, Pine/Strawberry, LF Ranch, Doll Baby Ranch, and Simonton Flat areas.

The Tonto National Forest is currently in Stage 1 Fire Restrictions. These restrictions prohibit recreational target shooting. They also prohibit campfires and charcoal BBQs outside of developed recreation and camping sites. See this order and get additional information on our website at https://www.fs.usda.gov/tonto

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