Decreased winds helping crews fight Sunflower Fire

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

PAYSON, Ariz. -- Cooler temperatures and decreased winds have made conditions easier for firefighters battling the Sunflower Fire south of Payson.

A Red Flag Warning was expected for Saturday, but it was removed due to a favorable change in the weather.

The steep, treacherous terrain of the Mazatzal Wilderness is expected to continue experiencing smoke until sufficient precipitation moves in.

Fire crews will continue to patrol and monitor the area while reinforcing fire lines.

On Friday afternoon, crews were also able to prevent a fire from breaking out along State Route 87 when a vehicle overheated and the motor burst into flames.

A nearby fire engine crew was able to extinguish the fire and prevent it from spreading to vegetation along the side of the road.

The Sunflower Fire covers 17,618 acres and is 43 percent contained.

The fire began on May 12, but the cause of the blaze remains under investigation.

For more information about the Sunflower Fire visit