WICKENBURG, AZ (AZFamily) — More than a dozen buildings have been destroyed as firefighters gained some containment on the Rose Fire burning in the Wickenburg area.

As of Saturday evening, the Rose Fire is now 90% contained after burning 166 acres.

Crews are continuing to mop up the blaze. Many resources have been released to rest or prepare to fight new fires. The fire has been transferred to a Type 4 incident.

One state hand crew, two Bureau of Lane Management engines, an engine from the Wickenburg Fire Department and a water tender are still assigned to the fire.

Officials said that, as of Thursday evening, the fire burned seven homes and eight other buildings. Twelve vehicles, a horse trailer, and a recreational vehicle were also destroyed in the fire.

There are no reports of injuries.

Tiffany Davila with the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management said a dozer was used Thursday afternoon in the river bottom on the northwest part of the fire. She added that firefighters were also still patrolling around the communities to finish protecting buildings and homes.

The wildfire started on Wednesday afternoon in the Hassayampa River bottom and has destroyed six homes, forest officials said.(Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management)

People in the Rio Vista Hills community along the U.S. 60 were initially told to leave their homes Wednesday evening. Tiffany Davila with the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management said at the time that about 100 homes were threatened.

Some residents were allowed to return to their homes just before midnight the same night. Thursday morning, the Maricopa County Department of Emergency Management lifted all “SET” and “GO” statuses for area residents.

Davila says gas and electricity remain off the south side of the burnt area, near the Hassayampa River. Residents are asked to give time for utilities to be restored before returning to the area. For further updates, residents can contact Southwest Gas.

Fire management, along with local authorities, will continue to reevaluate the power situation and determine when it would be safe to restore those utilities.

“Just because there’s no flames or you don’t see visible fire it doesn’t mean there’s still activity happening. There’s a lot of heat remaining within the interior of the fire. So like I said crews are going direct, they’re trying to establish containment line around the fire. They were able to knock down a lot of that fire that you saw along the roadway with aircraft yesterday but because of the vegetation that this fire is burning in, it could smolder for days. It could smolder for a week because that fuel is so thick,” said Davila.

A five-mile stretch of the U.S. 60 was shut down between 288th Avenue and State Route 74, between Wickenburg and Morristown due to downed power lines. Around 2 p.m. on Thursday, ADOT reported that the left lane had reopened in both directions, while the right lanes remained blocked as of noon on Friday.

FEMA announced on Thursday that it approved a grant to cover 75% of the cost of fighting the Rose Fire.

The fire is burning between Wickenburg and Morristown.
The fire is burning between Wickenburg and Morristown.(Arizona’s Family)

The wildfire started at about 4 p.m. Wednesday afternoon in the Hassayampa River bottom. It’s burning salt cedar, grass and brush.

Shortly after its start, flames jumped the U.S. 60 freeway and were burning on both sides.

Davila said on Wednesday that crews had a heavy attack from the air and on the ground. A dozer arrived that evening to help protect homes. Officials said Thursday morning that overnight increased humidity and cooler temperatures helped decrease overall fire activity and kept it from moving.

Davila said some of the retardant has been ineffective, and hot and dry weather conditions aren’t helping.

According to the latest report Friday morning, the fire did not grow in size since Thursday. As the day progresses, crews will continue checking for and suppressing heat along the fire’s edge.

It’s unclear what sparked the flames. Davila says a fire investigator arrived on Thursday, and the fire remains under investigation.

Verified GoFundMe accounts have been set up for two families who lost their homes in the Rose Fire. Tap/click the links below to learn more and to make a donation:

  • Help Jerry Engemann and family rebuild
  • Support Mark and Laura’s recovery

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