Evacuations remain, several firefighters treated in Highline Fire near Payson

Posted: Updated:
Expected overnight winds forced residents near Payson to evacuate Thursday night. (Source: Highline Fire Info) Expected overnight winds forced residents near Payson to evacuate Thursday night. (Source: Highline Fire Info)

More than 100 homes were evacuated in the Payson area, and six firefighters had to be treated for heat-related illness this week while fighting the Highline Fire near Payson.

The firefighters were given fluids and are expected to be OK.

Fire officials announced the evacuation around 8 p.m.Thursday as a precaution since the winds could whip up the wildfire into even more dangerous territory.

As of Friday night, the fire has burned 4,929 acres and is 44 percent contained.

[RELATED: Highline Fire burning outside Payson]

The evacuations affected La Cienega and Ellison Creek Estates in the Ellison Creek drainage north of Control Road. The order does not affect the Bonita Creek Community, however that community is under a precautionary pre-evacuation notice.

"We have a lot of aircraft that have been working the fire," said Mike Reichling, a state fire official. "The winds, the percent of the humidity and all of that plays a part in how they fly."

Public safety personnel planned to go door-to-door to provide evacuation information to residents.

[MORE: New concerns about increased wildfire activity in Arizona]

[RELATED: Arizona blazes grow as wildfire season peaks]

Residents were advised to not wait for authorities to contact them before leaving. 

"The cargo they are carrying, the retardant, the water, is very heavy," said Reichling. "They have to calculate all that. The elevations we have up here 7, 8 9,000 feet that they're flying poses a very large challenge to what they have to do. 

Six firefighters fighting the Highline Fire were treated for heat-related illness this week. On Friday, two firefighters were treated for heat-related illness and were given fluids. The firefighters are now fine, fire officials said.

The American Red Cross Greater Phoenix Chapter opened a shelter in Payson to help support residents affected by the fire. 

The Red Cross shelter will be located in the gymnasium at Payson High School at 301 South McLane in Payson. The shelter is on the south side of the campus. 

So far, no evacuees have used the Red Cross shelter.

There will be a community meeting Saturday at Payson High School at 7 p.m.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Wildfires]

Refresh this developing story for updates.

Click/tap here to download the free azfamily mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.