CAVE CREEK, Ariz. - October 4, 6:59 p.m.
The fire remains at 14,476 acres and is now 60% contained. Tonto National Forest officials said this will be the final update and provided the below statement.
"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."
September 30, 7:43 p.m.
The fire has burned 14,476 acres and is 45% contained.
Bartlett Damn Road and Bartlett Lake has reopened, but officials ask that the public watch out for firefighters working in the area.
Parts of the Maricopa Trails remain closed, and the closure will remain in effect through October.
September 29, 7:28 p.m.
The fire has now burned 14,476 acres and is 30% contained.
“Taking preemptive measures such as nighttime burnouts of targeted areas to protect values at risk has proven to be a successful strategy in keeping the Sears Fire within the current firelines,” said Incident Commander Andy Mandell, of the USDA Forest Service. “So far, our flexibility to adjust our tactical resources based on weather conditions and fire behavior has helped us get ahead of this fire, but we can’t let up," Tonto National Forest officials said.
There are approximately 200 personnel assigned to the incident consisting of engines, hand crews, water tenders and helicopters.
September 29, 9:33 a.m.
"Today, firefighters will continue to hold and improve firelines in anticipation of higher winds out of the east 7-12 mph with gusts to 20 mph. Operations include the mop up and patrol of firelines along the west perimeter of Seven Springs Road in the Deer Creek drainage and at Humboldt Lookout. Fire crews are in place to monitor and protect critical infrastructure on Humboldt Lookout and are closely monitoring structures in the Camp Creek recreation residences," Tonto National Forest officials said.
"To the east, fire crews will continue to mop up and patrol firelines along Horseshoe Road along with mopping up the spot over that occurred Sunday evening near the Verde River. KV powerlines in the area remain impacted by smoke and lower Camp Creek powerlines have been de-energized."
Four homes and 10 outbuildings have been destroyed in the fire, which is still 15% contained and has burned 14,241 acres.
September 28, 6:54 p.m.:
The fire is now 15% contained and has burned 14,241 acres.
"Mop up and monitoring of the fire’s southern perimeter continues, and burnouts are being conducted as needed to secure the eastern perimeter of the fire around Horseshoe Road," Tonto National Forest officials said in a news release. "The public should expect increased smoke during burnout operations."
September 28, 11:11 a.m.:
The fire remains at 0% containment and has burned 12,474 acres.
Tonto National Forest officials say another residence and four additional outbuildings near an area called Honeymoon Seep have been destroyed by the fire.
September 27, 1:31 p.m.:
The fire remains at 0% containment and has grown to 9,200 acres.
Tonto National Forest officials say three residences, five outbuildings/sheds and several vehicles were destroyed by the fire.
"Firefighters are using a combination of direct, indirect and point/zone protection to preserve values at risk. This wildfire response strategy is designed to protect specific assets or highly valued resources from the fire. Crews continue to construct firelines, with airtankers and helicopters making targeted drops with retardant and water to contain and suppress the fire. KV Powerlines in the area remain impacted by smoke. Yesterday’s operation was centered around preventing the fire from damaging Camp Creek recreation residences."
Firefighters will continue suppression operations near Humboldt Mountain.
September 27, 7:21 a.m.:
The Sears Fire has burned 8,700 acres of grass and brush since it broke out during the afternoon of Sept. 25.
The Bartlett Lake area, boat ramp and marina remain closed until further notice as a precaution.
According to InciWeb, "The area closure includes all National Forest System lands, roads, and trails within the boundary starting at the intersection of National Forest System Road (NFSR) 24 (Cave Creek Road) and NFSR 19 (Bartlett Dam Road), then following NFSR 19 East to the western shore of Bartlett Lake, then following the western shoreline of Bartlett Lake and the Verde River to Horse Shoe Lake, then following the western shore of Horse Shoe Lake to Lime Creek, then following Lime Creek Northwest to NFSR 24, then following the eastern edge of NFSR 24 South to the junction with NFSR 41, then crossing NFSR 24 to the western edge of the road and following the western edge of NFSR 24 south to the pullout at mile post 2, then crossing back over the to the eastern side of NFSR 24, and following NFSR 24 South to NFSR 19. (the beginning)."
No injuries or structure damage has been reported but on Sept. 26, Forest Service officials said the Humboldt Lookout and FAA communication equipment are threatened.
Officials estimate the wildfire will be contained by, Thursday, Oct. 15.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
September 26, 6:30 p.m.:
September 26, 11:29 a.m.:
Fire crews are battling a 5,200-acre wildfire near Cave Creek in the Tonto National Forest.
The Bartlett Lake area, boat ramp and marina close at noon on Sept. 26 until further notice as a precaution.
Tonto National Forest officials say there are engines and aircraft responding to the scene.
Camp Creek Summer Homes have been evacuated as firefighters provide structure protection.
No structures have been damaged.
Fire crews are battling the 450-acre Sears Fire that started on Sept. 25.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.