Several small fires started Monday and converged quickly in the mountains well north and east of Phoenix to create a single blaze called the 377 fire. While no threat to the Valley, the wildfire illustrates the risks this year as the statewide drought deepens after a dry winter and with no rain in sight, and officials plead with residents to be careful.
“The fire was caused by chains being dragged on the road,” the Heber-Overgaard Fire Department said. Some photos of the fire on Monday, June 4:
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As of this morning, the 377 Fire has burned 5,180 acres of mostly grass and pinyon juniper with a few pockets of forest, officials said. It is 20 percent contained. The fire, between Heber-Overgaard and Hollbrook, forced closures of highways 277 and 377. Power lines feeding Heber-Overgaard were downed, and power was out to most residents Monday and Tuesday, the local fire department reported.
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More than 300 firefighters are battling the blaze, which started less than a week after a brush fire in a wash in Anthem burned about 1 acre and briefly threatened homes, and just days after a 5-acre brushfire in Black Canyon City—which started by spontaneous combustion of oily rags in the back of a pickup truck—destroyed two homes and at least 20 vehicles.
Additional photos provided by the state forestry department and the Heber-Overgaard Fire Department:
This satellite view shows the fire developing: