Sunflower Fire 43% contained

PAYSON, AZ - Forest officials say a fire that started a week ago has burned 16,115 acres and is 43% percent contained.

The Sunflower Fire is burning about 21 miles south of Payson in grass, chaparral and pinion pine.

SEE PHOTOS OF THE SUNFLOWER FIRE

The fire perimeter has now burned into boundaries of the Willow Fire to the north and the Basin Fire to the west. Fire behavior has been greatly reduced with lighter fuel loading in the old burn areas.

With increased weekend traffic on Highway 87 there was concern for fire crews exiting and entering the incident command post and officials warn drivers to obey the speed limit signs and beware of emergency vehicles leaving and entering the grounds.

The Arizona Department of Transportation reduced the speed limit in a two mile stretch of State Route 87 from 65 mph to 45 mph.

The affected area is located just north of the Verde River.

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