May 14, 2012 5:01 PM
TONTO NATIONAL FOREST - The Sunflower Fire has charred 3,100 acres of land since it was first reported on May 12, and is spreading southwest and west to the Mazaatzal Wilderness in Central Arizona.
Due to sustained northeasterly winds, the first has become very active, Forest Service officials state, a large smoke plume being established to the southwest, an active fire on the west side, and active interior fires burning in dense chaparral and Manzanita. The fire is located about 21 miles south of Payson, Arizona.
The rugged terrain and dry fuels are presenting challenges to fire suppression efforts, officials state, with firefighters working to improve the line on the east side of the fire to protect the power line running along the west side of State Route 87. The power line is threatened, but remains energized, and no structures are threatened at this time.
Currently, nine crews, 14 engines, five helicopters, and six air tankers have been assigned to fight the fire. More firefighters and equipment have been ordered and are responding, officials state.
Below is a Google Map showing information on the Sunflower Fire and wildfires reported in the state. All information comes from the National Interagency Coordination Center.
View Sunflower Fire Map in a larger map
Detail map of wildfire courtesy GeoMac Wildland Fire Support