QUEEN VALLEY — Containment efforts of a wildfire burning near a northern Pinal County community have prevented the need for evacuations, officials said Thursday morning.
The lightning-caused wildfire near Queen Valley has grown to more than 24,000 acres and is 8% contained. It began May 30 in the Superstition Mountains.
Approximately 300 personnel including engines, hand crews, air attack and helicopters are fighting the blaze.
According to the Incident Management Team, firefighters are fully suppressing the Sawtooth Fire to protect nearby communities and other assets at risk in the area.
This week firefighters made progress on fire containment along the southern and eastern portions of the fire, working in conjunction with air resources. Structure protection measures were successful in the Queen Valley and Elephant Butte communities. Wednesday afternoon, fire activity picked up to the northwest in Peralta Canyon. Air resources dropped retardant and water on the fire in that area, slowing its progress, officials said.
Today a hotshot crew, engines and water tenders were to monitor and scout the area southwest of the fire for opportunities to keep it from moving to the west and south. On the northwest side, firefighters were conducting reconnaissance and scouting the fire for opportunities to keep it east of the main Superstition Mountains ridgeline. On the southeast side of the fire a hotshot crew and engines were mopping up and patrolling the line to keep the fire out of Elephant Butte and Queen Valley and west of Forest Road 172. Firefighters are also available to assist with initial attack for any new starts in the area.
A select group of residents in the community of Queen Valley were under a precautionary status ready to evacuate, but the order was lifted at 8 a.m. Thursday.
A closure order is still in place for the Tonto National Forest's Peralta Trailhead and surrounding area.