Firefighters stopped a wildfire just a mile west of town Sunday night before it could spread beyond a few acres.
The fire was reported around 8 p.m. just off Doll Baby Ranch Road in an area popular for target shooting.
Payson Fire Chief David Staub said the fire was located a mile west of town in a bowl area on the west side of the roadway. The PFD sent an engine and a battalion chief and notified the Forest Service, who sent a crew as well.
Payson Fire had stopped the forward rate of spread by around 9 p.m. and cleared the scene around 10:30 p.m.
The fire was roughly 1.34 acres.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
“We are just lucky it was not middle of the afternoon when we had high winds,” Staub said.
The Tonto National Forest and the Town of Payson are currently under Stage 1 fire restrictions. Target shooting, campfires and smoking outdoors (except within an enclosed vehicle or building, or a developed recreation site) are prohibited. Persons engaged in legal hunting activities pursuant to state, federal, or tribal laws and regulations are allowed to discharge a firearm while taking wildlife.
For fire restriction information, visit https://www.fs.usda.gov/tonto/.