ROOSEVELT, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Woodbury Fire growth has increased to 123,875 acres as of Sunday night. It is now 80% contained.

The Tonto National Monument remains closed. Closures are expected to remain through the 4th of July holiday.

Officials with the Incident Management Team say fire crews and helicopters will continue to attack any hot spots. The dry conditions are a challenge to the fire fight.

Tortilla Flat businesses are still open. State Route 88, the Apache Trail, is closed from Tortilla Flat to State Highway 188 at Theodore Roosevelt Dam.

Apache Lake, Apache Campgrounds, picnic sites and trail heads will remain closed until SR 88 is reopened. This closure is expected to be a long term closure beyond the 4th of July holiday.

The closure will remain until the Forest Service and Arizona Department of Transportation evaluate and address all safety concerns along SR 88.

[SLIDESHOW: Woodbury Fire forces evacuation in Roosevelt-area]

The June 20 evacuation affected about 250 homes east of metro Phoenix.

Authorities said about 200 people were evacuated. They have since been allowed to return to their homes.

[WATCH: Woodbury Fire eclipses 100K acres burned]

[WATCH: Evacuees waiting to go back home while Woodbury Fire burns]

Before leaving their homes, people were encouraged to close all of their windows and doors. Officials also say to close all blinds or curtains. 

"I hope I never have to go through this again," said Marlene Rutledge, who is staying at the shelter. "Ash was falling all over the vehicle."

[WATCH: Strong winds, rough terrain still issues in fighting Woodbury Fire]

The homes effected are within a 12-mile radius of Roosevelt Lake, a popular recreation area.

A county spokesman says the wildfire is within seven miles of the homes.

"The only thing that can do that is the good lord up there, it's in his hands, nothing else I can do," Rutledge said.  

[WATCH: Woodbury Fire moving northeast thanks to windy conditions]

More than 1,100 people were assigned to battle the fire and protect homes, businesses and copper mines in the region.

Livestock are being sheltered at the Gila County Fairgrounds. For those who are unable to evacuate their livestock, they are being asked to paint phone numbers on animals before turning them lose. That will allow for future identification. 

[MORE: Emergency response team deployed by Arizona Humane Society for Woodbury Fire]

The founder of the Reevis Mountain School also had to evacuate. 

"To have Forest Service say, 'OK, today's the day we gotta go,' and I was too busy working to really prepare myself for leaving," said the founder, Peter Bigfoot. 

[RELATED: ADEQ monitors air quality closely as Woodbury Fire continues to burn]

Bigfoot says he's lived in the area for 39 years. Reevis Mountain School teaches people how to survive in the wilderness.

"We're hoping that the ranch house will still be there when we get back, so we put a lot of our things there because that seemed like the most likely place to be there when we get back but the little out buildings that we have, we're not so sure," Bigfoot said. 

Fire officials say there is a sprinkler system and water pumps in place to protect the school. They are also protecting structures at Top-of-the-World.  

A community meeting was held Friday at 6 p.m. at Miami High School Auditorium in Miami.

Smoke from the massive blaze was blowing to the northeast and prompted health warnings as far away as Gallup, New Mexico, nearly 300 miles (483 kilometers) away. The National Weather Service office in Albuquerque said to expect widespread reductions in visibility across large portions of western and central New Mexico because of the Arizona blaze. The state health department warned people in Cibola County, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Los Alamos, Las Vegas and nearby communities to keep their windows closed.

[WATCH: Woodbury Fire grows to over 65,903 acres, is 42% contained]

Fire officials warned residents traveling along U.S. Route 60 between Superior and Miami, Arizona, to be wary of increased fire truck traffic in the area.

A campground was closed east of a dam at Roosevelt Lake, along with some roads and Tonto National Monument, home to two 700-year-old cliff dwellings. Sadler said firefighters wrapped original wood components of the dwellings with a fire-resistant material.

The fire has been burning through heavy brush and some Pinyon pine. Sadler said it was moving into areas that transition to grassland, which could help firefighters.

[WATCH: 'Critical weather' will challenge firefighters again Friday]

The fire is burning in what’s typically the driest time of the year before the onset of heavy rain during the monsoon season. The amount of precipitation over the winter and spring otherwise has been above-normal in most areas.

Tonto National Forest was the first agency in Arizona to implement fire restrictions earlier this month that limit campfires and smoking to developed areas. Others are following suit.

[VIDEO: Evacuations ordered in Woodbury Fire]

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s Colorado River District in western Arizona will be under the first stage of fire restrictions starting Friday.

Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management restrictions also start Friday and cover land in Gila, La Paz, Maricopa and Yuma counties, and Mohave County south of the Colorado River.

The Woodbury Fire Incident Management Team said the fire is poised to move east out of the Superstition Wilderness and low humidity, high temperatures and increased winds are expected over the next few days. Those conditions could make containment especially difficult.

CLOSURES DUE TO FIRE

• Roosevelt Lake Marina

• Canyon Lake

• SR 88 is closed from milepost 213 at Tortilla Flat to SR 188 at Roosevelt.

[RELATED: Hundreds attend meeting for update on the Woodbury Fire]

[APP USERS: Click here for map]

 


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

 

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(5) comments

afden

This was human-caused as most wild fires are. Thousands of acres charred and homes in danger thanks to careless idiots!

Scooter

I hope they catch the person/people that started it.

andthesurveysays

Meanwhile the fishing on Canyon and Apache is excellent. Of course, no one would know [huh], but only the fish this week.

Robs

Run,run for your lives. [scared]

ssgma

You're a Dork why comment if you don't actually have something to say? We have Family In the Roosevelt are with very nice homes! This Is Horrible..

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