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Brooklyn Fire sparks northeast of Black Canyon City, 32,000 acres burned

Brush fire sparks east of Sunset Point
Posted at 6:40 AM, Jul 08, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-11 01:54:49-04

Firefighters are on scene of the Brooklyn Fire, which has burned 35,778 acres on land controlled by the Tonto National Forest and Agua Fria National Monument. 

Fire officials say the wildfire, which is burning eight miles northeast of Black Canyon City, was reported on Friday afternoon. As of Monday evening, it was 75% contained. The cause of the fire is believe to be connected to lightning. 

The fire is generally burning to the west and north, leading to the closure of Bloody Basin Road from Interstate 17 east to Forest Road 24. The Arizona Department of Transportation said smoke from the fire was blowing across the interstate near Badger Springs Road south of Cordes Junction, though authorities said it wasn't enough to cause major problems for those heading north of the Valley.

Officials said 50 to 60 structures were threatened by the flames.

Storms brewing at higher elevations also impacted crews fighting the fire Saturday.

The BLM said aircraft were grounded for safety due to gusty winds from monsoon storms.

Smoke from the fire was impacting communities as far south as the northern parts of the Valley. It also could damage cultural, riparian and sensitive wildlife species on the Agua Fria National Monument.

The Phoenix Fire Department said its regional dispatch center has been flooded with 911 calls from those living in the Daisy Mountain and Black Canyon City areas asking if they need to evacuate.

"[Dispatchers] are just getting hundreds of 911 calls because there’s so much smoke up in that area," explained Phoenix Fire Department Capt. Larry Subervi. "The smoke is just kind of staying lower to the ground than we typically see in terms of where it normally would rise in the air, so even ash and smoke is getting into the air from a pretty far distance."

Officials said there is no threat of fire and no evacuation or pre-evacuation notifications have been issued. However, those sensitive to particulates in the air may find it more comfortable to spend a few days elsewhere.

"[For] people with health issues that may be susceptible to the smoke respiratory problems, it’s not a bad idea to leave the area. But, there is no evacuation order in place right now," Capt. Subervi said.

The Bureau of Land Management said the fire remained to the north of Black Canyon City as of Sunday night.

Heading into Sunday, authorities said crews would focus on burnout operations going east along Bloody Basin Road and around Copper Creek Administrative Site.

"It was bad, you could see the mountains at all," Black Canyon City resident Jacie Greer said. "You could barely see the house across the street. "

Stay with ABC15 and abc15.com for more updates on this developing story. 

For more information on the Brooklyn Fire, call (602) 525-1042.