Woodbury Fire grows to over 96,000 acres, 25 percent contained
GOLD CANYON, Ariz. (FOX 10) -- The Woodbury Fire remains the biggest fire in Arizona right now. As of Sunday morning, the fire had grown to 96,307 acres - that's about 125 square miles. This fire is one of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. Crews are working on holding the fire lines, while many people have evacuated the area.
Officials say the fire is now 25 percent contained with 1,112 people working on it, but due to more favorable weather and the fire reaching a different vegetation type, minimal fire growth is expected.
Burning since June 8, the cause of the fire is still under investigation but is believed to be human-caused.
Officials with Gila County have issued an evacuation alert for people living in the Roosevelt and Roosevelt Lake area.
A temporary shelter facility has been set up for community members and small pets at the Lee Kornegay Intermediate School, located at 4735 S. Ragus Road in Miami. Many have donated fruit, snacks, and water as the fight against the fire continues.
American Red Cross Shelter supervisor Dan Delaney and her team welcomed evacuees who have nowhere to go. She says the community has stepped up with donations in a time of need.
"[People are] bringing water by calling [and] finding out if there's anything we need," Delaney said. "So it's been pretty amazing."
On the same campus, the incident command post for Hot Shots has relocated to this elementary school. Once crews fuel up after an active and windy day, they're ready to head back to the fight."
"We just moved here and set up so we'd be closer to the active edge of the fire," said Fire Information Officer Gerry Perry.
Officials say the firefighters did burn out operations along Highway 88. Some crews are in rough country where it's steep and rocky. Firefighters are establishing barriers around the fire and clearing brush - no structures have been threatened.
"The head of the fire and those communities is an area that firefighters have burned out," Perry said. "So the fire is not [going to] be able to get beyond those burned barriers to structures."
And the big question from evacuees is waiting for the fight to end.
"When can they go home, that's the biggest question I get every single day," Delaney said.
When evacuees arrive, they'll get a comfort bag with toiletries, a blanket, and a towel. If you are in need of a place to stat, you can go to Lee Kornegay Intermedia School. Pets are welcome.
Livestock will be sheltered at the Gila County Fairgrounds.
The Arizona Humane Society is also working with the Gila County Animal Control on setting up an emergency animal shelter at the Miami Intermediate School.
Open: Lower Salt River, Saguaro Lake, Canyon Lake, and Tortilla Flat, some areas of Roosevelt Lake, Bartlett Lake Lost Dutchman State Park, and Oak Flat Campground.