Chloe Jones, Phil Latzman

Friday, June 21, 2019

Roosevelt Lake residents ordered to evacuate due to Woodbury Fire

PHOENIX – Evacuations have been ordered for the Superstition Wilderness area as the Woodbury Fire continues to blaze. The fire near the Superstition Mountains has been burning for almost two weeks.

The Gila County Office of Emergency Management has announced an evacuation alert for Roosevelt and Roosevelt Lake.

An alert from the county’s emergency manager read: “Residents should leave the area immediately. Be sure to take any medications, pets, family valuables etc. with you, close all windows including window coverings, and leave all doors closed.”

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A temporary shelter has been set up for affected residents and small pets at Lee Kornegay Intermediate School in Miami. Residents who are unable to evacuate should call 911.

A community meeting will be held at the Miami High School at 6 p.m.

The fire has grown to more than 100 square miles – about 66,000 acres – and remains 42 percent contained. According to the Fire Incident Information System, it is not expected to be fully contained until July 1.

Officials said weather conditions Friday could hamper containment efforts.

“Variable winds with gusts up to 30 miles an hour and single-digit humidity will challenge firefighters today,” according to a statement by the National Wildfire Coordinating Group Friday morning. “Similar fire behavior is expected again today, with rapid spread to the north and east. Aircraft including helicopters and air tankers are still working the fire.”

Fire crews also are working to protect part of Arizona’s Native American history.
“Firefighters are sometimes tasked to prepare structures for potential fire activity, like the 700-year-old Salado cliff dwellings at Tonto National Monument,” the Tonto National Forest tweeted . “Crews from Flagstaff and Casa Grande have been working diligently to secure this piece of Arizona history.”

Cronkite News staff contributed to this article.

This story is part of Elemental: Covering Sustainability , a multimedia collaboration between Cronkite News , Arizona PBS , KJZZ , KPCC , Rocky Mountain PBS and PBS SoCal .