With the Bush Fire less than three miles from Tonto Basin and winds from the southwest pushing it towards Tonto Basin, officials Monday ordered the evacuation of Tonto Basin and Punkin Center.
Jakes Corner and Sunflower are in the "Set" stage, with residents asked to voluntarily leave or be ready to evacuate if they give the order.
The human-caused fire started on the west side of State Route 87 Saturday, crossed the highway, burned up the Mazatzal Mountains and had crested the mountains overnight Sunday.
Due to the fire moving so quickly, the USFS recommended Gila County Sheriff's Office and Emergency Management consider evacuation of the targeted area in Tonto Basin. Gila County Sheriff's Office and Emergency Management agreed and the decision to evacuate was made quickly," said Michael O'Driscoll, Gila County Health & Emergency Management director. "
Yesterday, the Bush Fire began moving very quickly toward Gila County and we wanted to be proactive in our approach to protect the residents of Tonto Basin and Punkin Center."
Those living in the areas of Tonto Basin and Punkin Center from Highway 188 and A-Cross Road to Highway 188 at Rambo Realty are asked to go. This includes residents on both sides of the highway, and both sides of the creek.
Under the Ready, Set, Go model, Go means residents are in imminent danger.
• 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.
For more information, go to https://ein.az.gov/ready-set-go
The American Red Cross will open a shelter at the Lee Kornegay School 4635 E Ragus Rd, Miami, AZ 85539.
The Gila County Emergency Operations call center is available for questions at (928) 402-8888.
To receive emergency notifications from Gila County go to: