The Bush fire had one of its least active days yesterday, growing only by about 9,000 acres. The fire reached a total size of approximately 184,500 acres. According to satellite, the heaviest plumes of smoke remained over Gila County, just south of the Rim Country. But because of light winds over the region, smoke was able to slowly diffuse to the east, making for smoky skies over southern Apache and Navajo Counties. Locations including Payson, Heber, and Holbrook saw light to moderate smoke, not nearly as much as the previous 24 hours.
This morning on satellite, a thin layer of smoke can be seen extending across much of the region around the fire. This could be a combination of smoke from the Bush Fire and the Bighorn Fire, the latter which had sent smoke northward into Gila County yesterday. Holbrook has seen the greatest smoke impacts this morning; smoke is expected to lift out by 9 AM with the heating of the day.
Today, winds are forecast to be light over the fire again. Similar to yesterday, smoke is expected to slowly spread northward into the Rim Country through the morning and into the early afternoon. Then later in the afternoon, smoke is forecast to slowly spread out to the east-northeast, with light to moderate smoke possible in Heber, Holbrook, Show Low, and St. Johns. Smoke will continue to be visible to the north and/or northeast of Phoenix.
Overnight, winds will become mostly light, similar to previous nights, allowing smoke to settle in the Tonto Basin again, between Rye and Roosevelt Lake. But in general, smoke should be present around the region. Light smoke impacts may be possible in Fountain Hills. Any smoke that does fill into the low lying areas overnight is forecast to lift out by 9 am Monday.
On Monday, wind is expected to be light over the region again. Similar to today, smoke is forecast to move slowly north over Payson and Rim Country before moving to the east over Heber, Holbrook, Show Low, and St. Johns.