Woodbury Fire Over Lake

Smoke from the Woodbury Fire burning in the Superstition Mountains rises above scenic State Route 88 (Apache Trail) Sunday.

GOLD CANYON — A scenic state highway remains closed as firefighters have stepped up aerial operations in battling a growing Pinal County wildfire.

The Incident Management Team coordinating the firefighting efforts against the blaze burning in the Superstition Mountains plans to hold another community meeting on Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Gold Canyon United Methodist Church, 6640 S. Kings Ranch Road, to update residents on the efforts to contain the blaze. The human-caused Woodbury Fire had burned more than 37,700 acres as of Monday but no communities were threatened.

Five air tankers and six helicopters were used Sunday to drop water to slow the fire’s spread near Tortilla Flat along State Route 88. A smoke column was visible from several locations including Superior and Apache Junction. The smoke was a result of increased fire behavior along the eastern edge of the fire, fire officials said.

Firefighters were scouting for locations to construct fire breaks near the eastern boundary of the Superstition Wilderness to keep the fire from spreading eastward.

Firefighting efforts on the north end of the fire continued to focus on protecting campgrounds, infrastructure, power lines and businesses along SR 88.

State Route 88 from Needle Vista east to the junction with State Route 188 continued to be closed. The closure included: Tortilla Flat, Canyon Lake, Apache Lake and campsites along SR 88 within the road closure area.

The following areas remained open and accessible to the public: Lower Salt River, Saguaro Lake, Roosevelt Lake, Bartlett Lake, Tonto National Monument Visitor Center and Lost Dutchman State Park.

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