Arizona wildfire forces 700 evacuations; winds causing widespread flames

One of the largest fires in Arizona continues to burn as more than 700 homes have now been evacuated.

The Woodbury Fire began on June 8 in the Tonto National Forest near Roosevelt Lake and has since forced the evacuation of about 700 homes as the human-caused wildfire has grown to more than 100 square miles.

Despite no reports of structure fires and fewer than a dozen people seeking shelter at public facilities, the fire has only been 43 percent contained.

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The latest update released from the Tonto National Forest warned that the fire was beginning to move out of the “Superstition Wilderness and into the corridor along State Highway 188.”

Southwest winds of up to 25 mph were causing the flames to spread farther, faster.

The Woodbury Fire began on June 8 in the Tonto National Forest near Roosevelt Lake and has since forced the evacuation of about 700 homes as the human-caused wildfire has grown over 100 square miles.

The Woodbury Fire began on June 8 in the Tonto National Forest near Roosevelt Lake and has since forced the evacuation of about 700 homes as the human-caused wildfire has grown over 100 square miles. (Arizona Dept. of Transportation)

Mining operations in the main Pinto Creek drainage along Spencer Canyon and West Pinto Creek have also been threatened by the fire moving eastward.

Air quality has also deteriorated as smoke from the Woodbury wildfire drifts across eastern Arizona and the state of New Mexico.

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The National Weather Service office in Albuquerque said Friday to expect widespread reductions in visibility across large portions of western and central New Mexico.

Satelite-style maps of the plume show thick smoke wafting across communities including Gallup, Santa Fe and Albuquerque.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.