MIAMI, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Woodbury Fire is now the fifth-largest fire in Arizona history.

On Sunday, the Woodbury Fire was reported to have grown to 123,827 acres. It is now 8o% contained.

The Woodbury Fire is now the fifth-largest wildfire in Arizona.

The Woodbury Fire is now the fifth-largest wildfire in Arizona.

The Woodbury Fire follows the Wallow Fire (which burned 539,049 acres,) the Rodeo-Chediski Fire (468,638 acres,) the Cave Creek Complex (248,310 acres) and Horseshoe Two (223,000 acres.)

The Woodbury Fire is now the fifth-largest wildfire in Arizona.

The Woodbury Fire is now the fifth-largest wildfire in Arizona.

[WATCH: Woodbury Fire now burns in area that hasn't seen flames in nearly 70 years]

On Tuesday, all evacuations in the Roosevelt area were lifted and evacuees began to return home.

Crews say Mother Nature is playing the biggest role on how this fire progresses. 

“She’s thrown a lot of curve balls. It’s been very hot, very dry. The Superstitions are very, very rough, straight up, straight down, rugged country,” said  Craig Daugherty, an operation’s section chief on this fire who has been on the front lines of the fire ground.

Daugherty says the fire continues to grow because it’s being fed by fuel it’s never had.

[RELATED: Woodbury Fire now at over 112K acres, 25% contained]

“Historically that [terrain] didn’t burn because there wasn’t a grass crop. A lot of it was more desert type fuels. Well, this year there’s an amazing grass crop  because of all the moisture you have received this year," said Daugherty. "And that given fuel for that fire to burn through. So, it’s covered a lot more ground.”

Fire crews are  working day and night to strategically “box in” this fire with the creation of stopping-point barriers by prepping the area around the fire with controlled burns, using fire retardant and cutting back brush in order to eliminate the fuel source.

[MORE: First look at damage behind the fire lines at the Woodbury Fire]

“The firefighters out there, they’re not just sitting around waiting for it to come to them. They’re prepping those areas. They’re prepping those roads. So, they’re doing a lot of work in preparation for the fire to come,” said Daugherty.

Despite the fire’s enormity, fire crews say their plan is working.

“It is successful. We’re keeping in our “biggest box” that we have right now. We’ve protected the structures and the values at risk. There’s a lot of values at risk around this fire, and so far we’ve been successful in protecting those values,” said Daugherty.

The biggest cause for concern is unpredictable wind, which can be detrimental to any fire. While rain would be welcomed, fire crews say they aren’t depending on monsoon rains to get this fire under control.


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



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(4) comments


When did wildfires become a contest. On the news you people feel the need to mention that "this fore is the largest in the country right now." What's the point? Is it a contest to see who has the biggest? You wonder why people don't trust some media outlets. You feel the need to over dramatize stories and it's getting tiresome.


Illegals started it.


The stupid person(s) that caused this fire need to be severely punished for their actions if they are caught...


A bit confused as to how this started. We know it is human caused, yet it is in terrain that is nearly impossible to access. I suppose someone threw a smoldering cancer stick out their car window?

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