Verde Fire breaks out near Cave Creek

Fire crews responded Sunday to a lightning-caused fire four miles northeast of Rio Verde.

According to a press release, the Verde Fire was reported Saturday night after thunderstorms made their way through the area. The fire is currently burning on the east side of the Verde River near Black Mesa, which is two miles northeast of Fort McDowell Reservation lands and four miles east of Rio Verde.

The fire is burning in a remote brush and grass area, resulting in limited road access for crews.

Officials say planning efforts are underway to determine how to effectively engage the fire. A helicopter is being used to douse flames where possible and air tankers are keeping the fire from moving closer to communities.

Officials are asking any and all visitors in the Lower Sycamore, Sugarloaf and along Forest Road 160, north of Sugarloaf road to relocate to different areas of the forest.

The press release states visibility may be reduced on portions of State Highway 87 overnight as well into the early morning hours.