GOLD CANYON — Smoke from a wildfire burning in the Superstition Mountains is visible in much of Pinal County and has resulted in air quality concerns that are expected to get worse.
The Woodbury Fire, burning 5 miles northwest of Superior, is currently estimated at 44,451 acres and is 15 percent contained, fire officials said Wednesday morning. They said area residents should expect another noticeable column of smoke. The heaviest smoke is expected to occur along portions of the eastern perimeter between Pinto Peak and Mound Mountain, where heavier brush is present.
The main air quality and visibility concerns involve smoke that has settled into canyons within the mountains, Roosevelt, and along State Route 60 south into Globe and Miami. Smoke will be heaviest in these areas, officials said.
The human-caused fire started Saturday afternoon.
A large swath of the Superstition Mountains in the area has been closed to the public.
The fire closure prohibits public travel on all roads and trails within the area of the Woodbury Fire. Tonto National Forest officials said the closure has been implemented for firefighter and public safety, by eliminating the potential for members of the public to enter into the Woodbury Fire area while fire suppression and emergency operations are taking place.
The following areas remain open and accessible to the public: Lower Salt River, Saguaro Lake, Roosevelt Lake, Bartlett Lake, Tonto National Monument Visitor Center, Lost Dutchman State Park and Oak Flat Campground.