Authorities ordered the evacuation of more than 1500 residents in several communities in Gila and Maricopa counties (Arizona state) on Thursday, June 18, as the 'Bush Fire' continued to burn. Evacuations were ordered from the Apache Lake, Sunflower, Punkin Center and Tonto Basin communities. The Bush Fire is reportedly only 5 percent contained as of Thursday and has expanded to nearly 180 sq mi (466 sq km).
The Bush Fire is one of several wildfires currently affecting Arizona. The Mangum Fire in the Kaibab National Forest north of the Grand Canyon has consumed 88 sq mi (227 sq km) and remains only 3 percent contained. The fire began on June 8 and the cause is being investigated. The Arizona Department of Transportation closed Highway 89A from Marble Canyon to Fredonia and Highway 67 to the Grand Canyon as a result of the wildfire.
Separately, the Bighorn Fire, which started on June 5, has burned more than 48 sq mi (124 sq km) in the hills north of Tucson (Arizona) and is 40 percent contained. On Thursday, residents of the Willow Canyon area of Mount Lemmon were ordered to evacuate. The region remains under a red flag warning and critical fire weather conditions, with the possibility of strong wind gusts.
Also, the East Canyon Fire in Colorado state is currently burning 20 miles west of Durango and is currently over 4 sq mi (10 sq km) in size and only 5 percent contained. Evacuations remain in place for the Elk Springs subdivision and Cherry Creek Road in La Plata County.
The Global Wildfire Information System (GWIS) website should be referred to for regular updates on fire warnings in place.
An emergency response presence and localized transportation disruptions, namely road closures, should be anticipated in the affected areas. Further spread of the fire is fires are possible in the coming days.
Individuals in the aforementioned areas are advised to monitor the situation, avoid the area, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
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