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Evacuations issued for 'Bush Fire' along State Route 87 near Bush Highway

Posted at 4:20 PM, Jun 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 18:38:45-04

FORT MCDOWELL, AZ — Fire crews are battling a human-caused brush fire that sparked Saturday along State Route 87 near Bush Highway, in the Fort McDowell area.


SIZE: 193,455 acres


LOCATION: Near the intersection of Bush Hwy and Hwy 87

EVACUATIONS: Tonto Basin/Punkin Center, Sunflower, Apache Lake and all residents and businesses on Highway 188 from Punkin Center to the 188 - Highway 87 Junction, to include Jakes Corner, Pioneer Pass, Brownsville, and Slate Creek evacuated

START DATE: June 13, 2020

CAUSE: Human-caused, vehicle fire

U.S. Forest Service officials say the Bush Fire is more than 64,000 acres in size as of Tuesday morning and there is no containment.

It is now the largest active wildfire in the country, data shows.

As of Tuesday morning, officials say residents in the Sunflower, Tonto Basin, Punkin Center and Apache Lake areas are placed on "GO" mode on the "READY, SET, GO" model.

"GO" mode means residents should evacuate immediately and follow emergency personnel instructions. "SET" mode means residents should prepare to evacuate.

The fire is burning north towards the Sugarloaf Recreation area, officials say. Smoke can be seen from the Beeline Highway as well as Loop 101 and Loop 202.

Take a look at the Bush Fire burn perimeter in the map below. Updated as of June 16.

Forest officials also say there are 11 engines, three hot shot crews, two helicopters and one air tankers assigned to the fire.

Fire crews are working to contain the fire to the west of SR-87, and are building containment lines and using firing operations to suppress the fire.

The Tonto National Forest is being assisted by MCSO, ADOT, Maricopa County Department of Transportation, DPS, SRP, and Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management.

Traffic is currently being diverted onto State Route 188 in the southbound direction and will detour through Globe. Officials have not given an estimated time of reopening.

Sugarloaf, Four Peaks, Lower Sycamore, Pobrecito, Butcher Jones, and Saguaro Lake recreation areas are all closed.