Management of the Sears Fire will transition back to the Cave Creek Ranger District at 6 p.m., Sunday evening. This will be the final news update unless there are significant changes in fire activity. The fire remains at 14,476 acres and is 60 percent contained.
Residents and visitors to the area may see occasional smoke over the next several days as interior pockets of vegetation continue to burn within the fire perimeter. Large ash whirls (similar to dust devils) are frequently seen within the burned area as well.
Firefighters continue to monitor areas around critical infrastructure on Humboldt Lookout and are closely monitoring structures in the Camp Creek recreation residences. Road grading to repair impacts from firefighting vehicles on Seven Springs Road (NFSR 24) and Horseshoe Road (NFSR 205) was completed over the weekend. There are approximately 60 personnel assigned to the incident consisting of engines, hand crews, water tenders and helicopters.
The Sears Fire Closure Order has been modified to reopen Seven Springs Road (NFSR 24) and Horseshoe Dam Road (NFSR 205). Bartlett Dam Road, Bartlett Lake recreation sites and marina are also open. Please slow down and watch out for firefighters and equipment that are working in the area.
The Maricopa Trail segment from Bronco Trailhead to Bartlett Dam Road remains closed as is runs though the center of the fire closure area. For more information about Maricopa Trails visit https://bit.ly/34bxqD4.
The closure order shall remain in effect until further notice and the signed closure order, closure area map and available photos can be viewed and downloaded at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7218/. Any changes or lifting of the closure order will be posted on Inciweb and to the Tonto National Forest official Facebook page.
Flying a drone near a wildfire is breaking the law and potentially endangers firefighters and interferes with wildland fire aerial suppression operations. Interfering with firefighting operations can result in a significant fine and/or a mandatory court appearance.
Visit the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality website for the wildfire smoke forecast at https://bit.ly/3jhP9z5.
Stage 1 fire restrictions are currently in effect across the Tonto National Forest. Please visit our website for additional information at: https://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/tonto/alerts-notices.