PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5)-- Crews with the Arizona State Forestry are battling a new fire near New River in the Tonto National Forest.

According to Ofc. Brad Widhalm, the public information officer for Cave Creek Ranger District, the fire ignited around 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.

"The winds picked up a little bit right after it started and pushed from state land to forest land pretty quickly," said Widhalm. "We had units from the forest service on scene within the hour."

Several other agencies including Daisy Mountain Fire and Medical Department are assisting. 

"They started anchor and flanking and then they started air attack. They started all kinds of air resources," said Widhalm. "We had several retardant drops, which are continuing currently."

Officials with Tonto National Forest said the fire grew to 503 acres at sundown Saturday. There are crews on scene monitoring the fire that's 20 percent contained.  

Officials hope the winds will die down and humidity will increase in order to help conditions so the fire can further be contained.   

According to the State Forestry, aircraft and ground crews working to stop forward progress. The fire is heading north, away from building structures. It's burning through grass and brush. 

The fire is not impacting traffic on Interstate 17. 

Although Widhalm says crews are calling the Central Fire human-caused, the fire investigator will have the final say.

"Once an investigator gets here, he will determine the cause," said Wildhalm. "And then it will be determined at that point."

 


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