Sunflower Fire burning south of Payson

SUNFLOWER, AZ - A wildfire is causing concern for fire crews near Sunflower, south of Payson.

By Sunday morning, the Sunflower Fire had burned approximately 2,500 acres.


Tonto National Forest spokesman David Albo said the fire about 20 miles south of Payson was moving in a northeasterly direction and primarily toward a wilderness area.  It's burning on the west side of Highway 87 in the Tonto National Forest.

Smoke was visible from Phoenix on Sunday, but no structures were threatened by the fire and it had not prompted any evacuation orders.

About 140 people have been assigned to the Sunflower blaze along with six air tankers and two helicopters. Another 15 engines were ordered.

Authorities have yet to determine a suspected cause of the fire.

The fire was reported around 10:25 a.m. Saturday.

Authorities say there are no developed campgrounds in the area, but they are evacuating campers dispersed throughout the area.

The fire is reportedly still at least a mile from the closest residence.

Crews do have concerns about heat and low humidity.

Air15 video showed flames burning up through trees and heavy smoke billowing straight up from the fire. The smoke plume can be seen from the Valley.

So far there is no estimated containment.

Another fire is burning near Young, Arizona.

The Bull Flat Fire has burned about 483 acres of brush, grass and dead fuels in a rough remote area, according to Candy Lupe of Fort Apache Agency.

There is no immediate threat to structures, the Canyon Creek Fish Hatchery, a ranch and campground in the area have been notified of the fire, but no evacuations have been called for.

The Bull Flat Fire was reported on Thursday and is believed to be lightning caused.

Officials said the fire is about 35-percent contained.

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