PAYSON, Ariz. - The Gila County Sheriff's Office lifted all evacuation orders for the Highline Fire Sunday as firefighters secured containment lines.
This includes the removal of evacuation orders for Ellison Creek Estaters and La Cienega, as well as the pre-evacuation order for Bonita Creek.
PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Highline Fire: Evacuation orders for nearby communities
The firefighters working on the Highline Fire just north of Payson achieved significant containment goals, stopping the fire’s movement on the south, east and west sides, according to the Southwest Area Incident Management Team.
As of Sunday night, the fire is now 76 percent contained—which is an improvement from Saturday night, when the fire was 60 percent contained. More than 1,000 firefighters are working on this 5,872-acre fire.
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Fire crews constructed fire lines and removed unburned fuels between the lines and main fire to stop the fire’s south and eastward movements, and the lines held overnight on Saturday, protecting the nearby communities of La Cinega, Ellison Creek Estates and Bonita Creek, the incident management team said.
On the west side of the fire, firefighters connected the fire line between the Rim and the Highline Trail.
Firefighters said strategic firing may be used in Bear Canyon to remove unburned fuels between Forest Roads 95 and 139A. On the fire's south flank, crews will continue to mop up hotspots along containment lines and patrol for spot fires.