Sunflower fire is the largest in the state


by Carina Sonn

Posted on May 14, 2012 at 7:08 AM

SUNFLOWER, Ariz. -- A wildfire burning near Sunflower, is the largest in the state at 3,100 acres.

Firefighters blame Sunday’s low humidity, warm temperatures and wind gusts of up to 25 mph for the fire's fast growth.
Officials also say there’s a lot of low, dry brush and grass on the very steep and rugged terrain.
The fire, which didn’t grow outward, but did begin to feed back on itself – produced thick black smoke that could be seen from the Valley.
Hotshot crews, engines and helicopters could be seen hard at work, the resources are from Region 3 which originate from Arizona as well as New Mexico.
Because of the complexity of the fire, a Type 2 incident management team was brought to help with additional resources.
And soon, an old parking lot started to come to life with catering trailers, showers and tents.
In the meantime, investigators are working to determine what caused the fire in the first place.
“It’s still under investigation but I believe it’s down along Sycamore Creek. You know it’s a popular recreation spot. A lot of people camp and hike down in there,” said David Albo with the Tonto National Forest.
Officials hoped the fire will lay down overnight, so crews can get an upper hand  and put it out before the winds pick back up.
“As I understand it right now our weather pattern is supposed to be stable for the next five to seven days, meaning it’s going to be similar to what we had today,” said Dee Hines with the Central West Zone Team.