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Tonto Basin residents able to return home after Bush Fire threatens houses

Bush Fire Inciweb photo
Posted at 7:36 PM, Jun 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-22 01:47:00-04

Tonto Basin residents were excited to return home after being ordered to evacuate due to the Bush Fire.

As of Sunday, the Bush Fire is burning more than 180,000 acres and is 42 percent contained.

Spencer Scott, who returned to his home in Tonto Basin couldn't believe how close the flames were to some of the homes.

"You could have roasted hot dogs off your back porch," joked Scott. "It was intense there for a while."

Nancy Shelton, a Tonto Basin resident and lung cancer survivor, said there was never a doubt she and her husband Andy would be evacuating their home.

"This is the second time we've been through this. We were here in July in 2005 when it happened then," said Shelton referring to the St. Clair Fire in 2005. "They set the whole side of Tonto Basin on fire. We refused to leave, we stayed here. That was a mistake we said we would never do that again."

Shelton said her home is safe, yet both her and Scott are living under clouds of smoke.

"My little garden's okay, and the house is okay. We are just absolutely blessed," said Shelton.

"I cannot stress enough how much the firefighters have, what a great job they have done," said Scott.