Diamond Fire near Sunflower now 50% contained; at 5,060 acres

Smoke rises over a hillside on the northern portion of the Diamond Fire 0n July 26, 2023.
Smoke rises over a hillside on the northern portion of the Diamond Fire 0n July 26, 2023.(Andrew Miller, Casa Grande Fire Department)
Published: Jul. 29, 2023 at 10:47 AM MST|Updated: Aug. 3, 2023 at 7:39 AM MST
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SUNFLOWER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - Firefighters are making significant progress in battling the Diamond Fire, which continues to burn in Arizona. As of Thursday morning, it’s grown to around 5,060 acres with 50% containment.

Significant progress has been made in recent days with managing regional crews expected to transition firefighting efforts back to the Tonto National Forest early Friday morning. “Ground resources have been patrolling and monitoring all areas of the fire and UAS infrared flights have yielded minimal heat detection,” forest officials said.

It also comes after a week of evacuations, road closures across State Route 87, and high winds which pushed the fire toward Sunflower. So far, all lines have held around the area. On Saturday morning, operations chief Ken Watkins announced in a report that there was less activity along State Route 87 and that aircrews were still working with ground crews to maintain conditions.

Click here for updates about the fire. The fire first began on Saturday, July 22, and the cause is still under investigation.

Around 5:45 p.m., evacuations were ordered for residents living in the community of Sunflower as crews continue to battle the Diamond Fire near the highway.

Parts of Tonto National Forest were also closed due to the fire. On Tuesday, Tonto National Forest officials said anyone caught traveling through closed parts of the forest could be punished with a class B misdemeanor, fined up to $10,000, or sent to prison. Click here for a map of the prohibited areas.

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