Pinal Fire near Globe grows to 2,800+ acres

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The Pinal Fire was started by lightning earlier this month. (Source: U.S. Forest Service) The Pinal Fire was started by lightning earlier this month. (Source: U.S. Forest Service)
The wildfire is burning 6 miles south of the City of Globe. (Source: U.S. Forest Service) The wildfire is burning 6 miles south of the City of Globe. (Source: U.S. Forest Service)
The wildfire is burning through dead needles, brush and trees. (Source: U.S. Forest Service) The wildfire is burning through dead needles, brush and trees. (Source: U.S. Forest Service)
GLOBE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A wildfire burning near the City of Globe has grown to more than 2,800, crews said on Sunday.

There are hundreds of firefighters are working on the Pinal Fire but they are allowing a good portion of the area to burn up in order to clear out dead needles, brush and trees. They have created a 12,000-acre area where they hope it will burn itself out. 

"We're letting nature takes its course," said Brad Widhalm with the U.S. Forest Service.

The area hasn't seen a wildfire in more than 60 years.

"We're really just wanting it to get back to that ecosystem that it needs to be where the watershed, the wildlife, plants and animals can thrive again because it's been so long since it's been able to thrive," Widhalm said.

There is zero containment on the fire as of Sunday evening.

The Pinal Fire started on May 8 by lightning about 6 miles south of Globe, crews said.

Some people in the area are concerned about the thick haze and smoke.

"You can feel it inside your house. Listen to my voice, it's damaging," said Bonnie Lewis, who lives near the fire. "I have COPD, my lungs hurt, even indoors with the windows all closed that smoke seeps in. I have black soot all over my carpeting. My cats outside are all watery."

Firefighters said there are about 13 summer cabins in the area and some communications towers, which they are protecting.

It's unclear how long it will burn, but according to the U.S. Forest Service's website, they hope to have it fully contained by mid-June.

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