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Sawtooth Fire burning 24,600 acres in Superstition Wilderness

Officials confirmed that the fire has burned 24,600 acres as of Thursday afternoon. It was reported at 3,500 acres Sunday.

SUPERSTITION MOUNTAINS, Ariz. — The Sawtooth Fire continues to burn in the Superstition Wilderness. The fire, which started on Saturday night due to lightning, is now burning 24,600 acres, officials say.

As of Sunday night, the fire had been measured at 3,500 acres. The most active part of the fire is in steep, rocky terrain in the Weavers Needle area, firefighters said.

The fire is northwest of Gold Canyon, burning near and partially within the site of the Woodbury Fire, which burned more than 100,000 acres in 2019. 

The Sawtooth Fire is currently 8% contained. More than 300 firefighters and overhead support have been assigned to the fire.

Officials say the communities of Elephant Butte, Hardt Tank, and Angel Basin were evacuated this morning to allow for these protection operations. 

An evacuation center has been set up at the Queen Valley Community Center. Area closures are in effect around Peralta Road, Hewitt Station, Rogers Trough, and the Woodbury Trailhead.

Much of the terrain in the Superstition Wilderness is steep, rocky and provides little to no shading vegetation.

Flames of the fire were visible from US 60.

RELATED: Growth on Woodbury Fire in Superstition Mountain stops as containment rises

Residents in evacuation areas are urged to have an emergency supplies kit to bring with them when leaving their homes.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that residents near a disaster store emergency supplies in a plastic tub, small suitcase, trash can, backpack, or other containers. 

Residents should make sure they have the necessities, such as three gallons of water per person and a three-day supply of ready-to-eat food, the NFPA said. A first-aid kit, prescription medications, contact lenses, and non-prescription drugs should also be taken into account. 

Copies of any important family documents, including insurance policies, identification, bank account records, and emergency contact numbers should also be taken and put into a waterproof, portable container in your kit, the NFPA said. 

The association lists other items that would help in a disaster, including:

  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and an NOAA weather radio to receive up-to-date information
  • Dust mask or cotton T-shirt to filter the air
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Complete change of clothing including long pants, long sleeve shirts, and sturdy shoes stored in a waterproof container
  • Signal flare

The entire NFPA checklist of supplies can be found here.

This is a developing story. Check back here for updates. 

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