PHOENIX – On Sunday, at about noon, the Oak Fire began in an area adjacent to State Highway 87, south of intersection State Highway 188. The fire consumed approximately 5.5 acres.
The fire was human caused and is under investigation.
A total of 75 firefighters responded to the fire, including one hotshot crew, one helicopter, and an air attack, with assistance from Payson and Tonto Basin Fire Departments.
According to the U.S. Forest Service, because of the fire’s proximity to the highway, Arizona Department of Transportation, in coordination with Department of Public Safety, and Gila County Sheriff’s Office closed traffic in both direction while firefighters battled the blaze.
“People need to be aware that overheated brakes, tow-chains, trailers, and mechanical issues can create a spark and lead to ignition,” said Brad Johnson, Tonto National Forest Central Zone Fire Management Officer in a Facebook post. “Make sure everything is tight and secure before and during traveling along the highway corridors; we get a lot of roadside fires.”
Johnson anticipated that the fire would be 100 percent contained by the end of the day. No structures were threatened or injuries reported.
UPDATE #EastDesertFire – est. 300-500 acres, winds pushing fire through dry veg and into drainage. Fire burning in #NorthPhoenix near 24th St & Desert Hills. #AZForestry #AZFire #MaricopaCounty pic.twitter.com/lR0og6BFrU
— AZ State Forestry (@azstateforestry) May 17, 2020