Hot, windy conditions fuel growth of backcountry blaze
By Summit Voice
SUMMIT COUNTY — Increasing southwest winds and continued hot and dry weather will present challenging conditions for firefighters trying to contain the Sunflower Fire in Arizona, which grew to 4.600 acres and is only 5 percent contained. The fire is located about 20 miles south of Payson, near Sunflower.
The fire is burning in grass, chaparral, pinyon pine, heavy Arizona cypress trees and has been running in some areas, with spotting reported from the perimeter. Winds have been gusting around 10 to 20 mph and temperatures are forecast to be in the mid-90s, with relative humidity readings in the single digits.
Fire managers said that, due to the rugged terrain, the fire may burn for a long time, with potential smoke impacts to local communities. Several power lines are threatened by the flames, and the potential for growth is extreme, according to the latest update on Inciweb.org.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. More than 250 firefighters are working to contain the blaze.