CAVE CREEK, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The Sears Fire burning in the Tonto National Forest near Cave Creek has grown to 14,476 acres with 60% containment as of Oct. 3.
The fire forced several days of closures of access to Bartlett Lake boat ramps and marina, but on Wednesday afternoon access was reopened.
So far, preliminary assessments found three residences, five outbuildings/sheds and several vehicles were destroyed by the fire.
Fire crews worked also to prevent the fire from damaging Camp Creek recreation area residences.
Officials with the Tonto National Forest say the Sears Fire began Sept. 25 and is burning in grass and brush near Seven Springs Road and the Sears Kay area.
Crews conducted burnout operations on the fire to protect values at risk. Currently, Humboldt Lookout and FAA communication equipment are threatened.
Fire officials have ordered air drops to help fight the fire. Evacuations have been ordered for Camp Creek Summer Homes as a precaution. This closure order will be effective on Saturday and shall remain in effect until further notice. Firefighters are working to protect any buildings in the area.
Sears Fire burning on Cave Creek RD. 450 acres, near FS Road 24 and Sears Kay area. Engines and aircraft on scene. Please avoid the area. Camp Creek Summer Homes evacuated as precaution as FF's provide structure protection. No structures damaged. https://t.co/1UDDFoz3Tf pic.twitter.com/kMDW7JRhse— Tonto NF (@TontoForest) September 25, 2020
The cause of the fire is under investigation. Please avoid the area to allow suppression resources to travel safely to and throughout the incident.