PHOENIX — Editor's note: The above video is from a Monday evening newscast.
A wildfire burning just northeast of Cave Creek in the Tonto National Forest has rapidly grown to more than 14,000 acres with 45% containment as of Wednesday.
The Sears Fire had burned 14,476 acres since it first sparked on Friday afternoon.
Three homes, five outbuildings and several cars have been destroyed. Some residents who evacuated were leaving summer homes.
Firefighters are continuing to patrol and monitor the blaze. They said growth was slow overnight Tuesday.
Tonto National Forest officials said suppression efforts were focused on the northeast perimeter of the fire, south of Humboldt Mountain where the fire is most active.
Some powerlines in the area have been impacted by smoke, and others have been de-energized.
The fire first sparked near Forest Service Road 24 and the Sears Kay Ranch around 2:45 p.m. Friday.
It is burning in grass and brush. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
There were 12 engines, four hand crews, one air attack plane, one very large air tanker, two large air tankers, two single-engine air tankers and four helicopters working to put out the fire on Monday. More resources have been ordered.
Crews ordered a closure of the area on Saturday. The closure includes Bartlett Dam Road, Seven Springs Road, Horseshoe Lake, Bartlett Lake and Seven Springs recreation sites. It will remain in effect until further notice.
People are asked to avoid the area to allow suppression resources to travel safely to and throughout the incident.
Residents who are concerned should contact their local county sheriff’s office to sign up for alerts and emergency evacuation notifications.
You can find more information on the Sears Fire here.