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Polles Fire

Unit Information

Tonto National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
2324 E. McDowell Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85006

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Polles Fire Wildfire
News – 7/5/2020


549 acres                                                           Percent Containment: 0% Start Date: Friday, July 3, 2020                                    Cause: Lightning Origin Location: 11 miles W of Payson, AZ                  Fuels: Pinion juniper, high desert grass Resources: approx. 120

Lightning caused fire burning west of Payson

  Firefighters are actively fighting a lightning caused wildfire burning within the remote Mazatzal Wilderness, approximately 11 miles west of Payson, Ariz. The fire started as the result of a passing isolated thunderstorms on Friday, July 3. The fire is in rough and rugged terrain that is only accessible by helicopter. Hotshot crews have been flown in by helicopter and suppression efforts have been supported by airtankers delivering fire retardant and helicopters dousing the flames. Firefighters were challenged by sustained high winds, high temperatures and low humidity yesterday causing an increase in fire behavior. A nighttime increase in humidity allowed firefighters to make progress in building containment line as they worked late into the evening. Winds are expected to be less today than yesterday, but firefighters will continue to be challenged by high temperatures, dry conditions, as well as the rugged terrain.  An additional hotshot crew and a Type 2 Initial Attack crew are being flown in this morning for a total of 4 crews on the fire taking direct suppression action, again supported by aviation.   The Arizona Central West Zone Type 3 Incident Management Team is currently assisting the Tonto National Forest managing the fire. A Type 1 Incident Management Team has been ordered.  Operations today will determine the need for a transition to the next level organization.   There are no current threats to the communities of Pine-Strawberry or Payson. We do encourage that residents become familiar with Arizona’s Ready-Set-Go program and sign up for their county emergency notification system and remain alert, ready and make essential preparations. Visit for more information.  

The Tonto National Forest has a Closure in effect across the forest to prevent new human caused fires.  Details are available at  

 Smoke forecast for the Polles Fire:   

 Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. Every time a drone is spotted near the fire all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of this area. More info visit

Polles Fire Public Information Phone: (928) 351-7723
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