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The Bush fire was considerably less active yesterday than previous days, only growing by about 1,500 acres. The fire now has an estimated total size of a little more than 186,000 acres. According to satellite, smoke was spread out across the whole region, with the heaviest plume of smoke extending across Gila County, just south of the Rim Country, and penetrating westward into Maricopa County. But much of this proved to remain overhead, as monitors in Payson, Heber, and Holbrook observed light smoke for the most part, with periods of brief moderate smoke.
Today, winds are forecast to start out light and variable over the fire. Then by the afternoon, they’ll shift to out of the west. Similar to previous days, smoke is expected to initially spread northward into the Rim Country through the morning. Then in the afternoon, smoke is forecast to slowly spread out to the east, 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 into low-lying areas in/around the Tonto Basin. 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 Tuesday.
On Tuesday, winds over the fire are forecast to be light again. Smoke is forecast to move slowly north over Payson and Rim Country before moving to the east over/toward Heber, Holbrook, Show Low, and St. Johns.