Crews are battling a wildfire northeast of Cave Creek Friday. Fire officials said around noon on Saturday the fire has grown to more than 7,200 acres.
The fire started Friday near the Horseshoe Dam Road turnoff. The Tonto National Forest said the fire is believed to be human-caused.
The fire is completely in the Tonto National Forest, burning east and northeast toward Bartlett Lake. The Bartlett Dam Road has been closed at the intersection with Cave Creek Road.
On Saturday, the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office is assisting in the now-mandatory evacuation of Bartlett Lake campers that are still in the area after the voluntary evacuation on Friday.
The fire continues to move north/northeast away from communities, officials say.
All day-use areas and campgrounds near Horseshoe and Bartlett lakes have been closed to allow firefighters to concentrate on containing the fire. Individuals who are currently in the area are being allowed to leave and are being escorted back to Cave Creek Road.
SWCC said Mesa and Payson fire crews are fighting the wildfire with the help of multiple airtankers, including two DC-10s.
The National Weather Service Phoenix radar detected smoke from the fire more than 10,000 feet above the ground. NWS Phoenix said smoke from the Mountain Fire, along with smoke from burnout activity at the Coldwater Fire, is stretching into Northern Arizona north of Interstate 40.
Crews are dealing with above-average temperatures, seasonably dry conditions and some late week breeziness as they work to contain the Mountain Fire, NWS Phoenix said.
As NWS Phoenix points out, most wildfires are human-caused. Routine activities from camping to yard work can potentially spark a fire.