Part of Arizona forest scorched by wildfire closed - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Part of Arizona forest scorched by wildfire closed

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Credit: aprilwelch | Flickr.com / Creative Commons License Credit: aprilwelch | Flickr.com / Creative Commons License

PHOENIX (AP) - Part of the Tonto National Forest that was scorched by a wildfire has been closed temporarily to motorized vehicles and camping.

Mesa District ranger Gary Hanna says unstable slopes, rolling rocks, falling trees and flash flooding could create dangerous conditions.

The Sunflower Fire had burned nearly 28 square miles in the forest near Payson earlier this year.

Forest officials say property owners and those with leases on the land or special use permits still can access the area. Hiking and horseback riding also is allowed.

A Mesa man is set to stand trial in November on charges that he started the wildfire after firing a shotgun at a soda box in a cleared area and lighting the nearby brush on fire.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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