Forest officials: Potatoe Fire near Sunflower ruled human-caused

Posted at 4:23 PM, May 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-21 01:23:27-04

Officials from the Tonto National Forest say a brush fire burning near Sunflower Sunday afternoon is human-caused. 

The fire was reported just before 1 p.m. and has grown to 70 acres, forest officials said. 

The fire is 30 percent contained at this time.

Officials say no structures are being threatened. 

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The blaze is on the east side of State Route 87, south of the Forest Service road to Mount Ord. 

Multiple fire engines and crews including hotshots are working to contain the fire. Helicopters and air tankers were also called to help with suppression of the blaze. 

One woman who lives in Payson told ABC15 her heart sank when she drove by the fire. She says she is fearful anytime she sees a brush fire spark, knowing how fast they can travel.

"Within 15 minutes it can jump from a little tiny thing to something extremely detrimental," said Kyrie Brown.

Brown noted recent fires, like the Tinder Fire, as proof fire season can become a problem at a moment's notice.

"It is that serious," Brown said. "My kids and I have our 'go' bags set. [A] change of clothes, our important document folders are ready to go."