Afternoon and evening thunderstorms on Monday north and east of the valley have caused Tonto National Forest firefighters to respond to multiple new fire starts. Several small fires have been reported, with most not growing to more than one acre.
The Benchmark Fire, burning in a remote area of the Tonto National Forest, is approximately 15 miles east of Black Canyon City. The fire was reported last night and has grown to 1,000 acres this afternoon. It is burning in grass and brush. There are no buildings in the area, and firefighters are monitoring the fire activity.
Smoke from the Benchmark Fire may be visible to residents in Black Canyon City, and for people traveling north on I-17 to Flagstaff.