While a heat wave looms over Arizona, the Cedar Fire continues to grow.
Officials announced on Saturday morning that the wildfire, formerly called the Cedar Creek Fire, near Show Low had increased to 12,140 acres in size. More than 700 personnel are currently on scene working to battle the blaze. As of Saturday morning, the fire was 30% contained.
A SEAT pilot just showed us this picture of his plane as the #CedarFire burns in the background. pic.twitter.com/pz5iy0BrQv
— Chris Gros (@ChrisGrosABC15) June 18, 2016
Burnout operations were conducted on Friday on the eastern side of the fire, and its edges to the west along Highway 60 and north along road B65 were further reinforced.
The #CedarFire has grown to around 12,000 acres. #abc15 pic.twitter.com/Xaxb01pHJn
— Danny Bavaro (@dannybavaro) June 18, 2016
The fire is expected to continue moving northeast with the help of winds and fuel.
Officials say Highway 60 is closed between the junction of Highway 60 and 73, south of Show Low.
Show Low, Pinetop-Lakeside and McNary communities are still in pre-evacuation protocols. Please stay alert and prepared!
— Navajo County (@NavajoCountyAZ) June 17, 2016
If the fire reaches the 65 road, Show Low residents will be ordered to evacuate. So far, no mandatory evacuation orders are in place.
Residents were being urged to prepare "go kits" with essential belongings such as medications, make arrangements for pets and put green tags on their doors or mailboxes so authorities know homes have been evacuated.
However, many people visiting the town have left or have cancelled weekend reservations.
David Mann owns K-Bar RV Resort in North Show Low. He says 15 to 20 families left the park as soon as the fire started or canceled their plans.
"Yeah these spaces would all be filled right now. They were filled a few days ago We've got a few more in the back where people left that had reservations maybe for the week or for a few days and they might have left a day early,” said Mann.
Mann says there was some confusion after officials went back and forth during Friday's news conference about people visiting the town. There will be another briefing scheduled for 8:00 a.m. Saturday morning.
The fire is expected to continue growing towards containment lines already set up to the southeast, which officials said could increase the fire's size by about 1,000 acres. Firefighters plan to continue building the containment line along the fire's southeastern edge, and will patrol the northern and western flanks.