Thursday, May 17, 2012

Sunflower Fire at 14,465 acres, 15 percent contained

Sunflower Fire Update
May 17, 2012 5:00 p.m.
Fire Information: (877) 208-2202 or (877) 208-4331

Acres:  14,465                                     Start date:  May 12, 2012
Cause:  Under Investigation               Location:  21 miles south of Payson
Containment: 15 percent                     Fuels:  Grass, chaparral, pinyon pine
Terrain:  Steep, rugged                        Resources:  15 crews, 17 engines, 2 dozers, 7 water tenders
Total personnel: 610                            Available air support:  7 helicopters, 6 air tankers

Summary: Firefighters continue to focus on holding the Sunflower Fire west of the high voltage transmission lines and Arizona State Route 87.  Burnout operations are being conducted this afternoon in anticipation of strong winds forecast for Friday.  This action will increase the width of containment lines along private property boundaries and Forest Road 393 in the southwest section of the fire.  Other fire lines on the northeast side of the fire are also being reinforced.  

With the approach of the weekend, motorists are asked to be extra cautious and aware of fire related traffic as they travel along Highway 87 toward Payson.  Drivers should expect to encounter firefighting vehicles between the Verde River and Arizona State Highway 188.  Fire traffic will be entering the northbound lanes near the Verde River, and the southbound lanes near the Mt. Ord Road.  Please be particularly cautious in these areas.

The area closure around the Sunflower Fire and fire restrictions within the Tonto National Forest remain in effect.

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