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Wildcat Fire grows to more than 14,000 acres, closure continues for part of Tonto National Forest

A spokesperson with Tonto National Forest says the fire is 'likely human-caused'
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Wildcat fire
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Posted at 1:42 PM, May 18, 2024

MARICOPA COUNTY, AZ — The Wildcat Fire continues to scorch land in the Tonto National Forest after sparking last weekend.

Monday afternoon, ABC15 learned that fire officials put a stop to all aerial firefighting in the area due to heavy winds. Despite the wind, officials said they made "good progress" on the fire, and the size "increased minimally."

As of Friday night, the fire is estimated to be approximately 14,402 acres and it is currently 84% contained.

A spokesperson with Tonto National Forest says the fire is "likely human-caused," but it remains under investigation.

No homes are at risk.

Watch video from the scene taken Saturday in the video player below:

Crews battling Wildcat Fire in Tonto National Forest

The fire was reported around 9 a.m. last Saturday north of 136th Street and Dynamite Boulevard.

The Tonto National Forest took to Facebook to ask the public to avoid the area as fire crews fight the blaze.

Officials recommend that the public sign up for the Maricopa County Emergency Notification System if evacuations are necessary.

The Tonto National Forest also issued a closure for a large section of the forest in the Cave Creek Ranger District because of the fire.

In a post, officials remind the public that "drones and firefighting aircraft are a dangerous mix and could lead to accidents or slow down wildfire suppression. If you fly, we can't." Fire officials say they had an incident with a drone on Sunday.

Fire officials are urging people to take precautions and help prevent the start and spread of fires.

"What they're doing out there is very important," Brad Widhalm, a forest spokesperson, said."This summer is going to be one for the record books unless we get everything and everyone is smart and safe and responsible." - Forest spokesperson Brad Widhalm

Stick with ABC15 and for the latest updates.

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