OMG, came home yesterday evening from Heber got down to the 188 turn off to Rosy and it started. I have lived through lots of fires, Rodeo, Wallow and lots of forest fires and numerous desert fires in my 60+ years in this state but to see how much destruction there is for Mt. Ord, 4 peaks it is unbelievable and that entire area. You can watch helicopter video, pictures people have taken but till you drive that stretch of road especially westbound to see things you drive 30+ miles and the south side is a moon scape. It looks like the fire actually started down right at the Bush highway turn off and ran east and northeast thankfully they stopped it heading toward Sugar loaf mt. The north side or Mt. Ord down near 87 where the road goes from that middle cement barrier to divided that entire side of the mountain there is not even a tree stump left and as you drive back toward the valley, traffic was light westbound so I stopped several times and got out my binoculars and 5-6-7- rigs back to the south it looks like someone piled up rocks and dirt and spray painted it flat black. Have never seen black sun devils but they were picking up the black ash and swirling. There is literally miles with nothing but an occasional small patch of desert brush or a couple saguaro cactus. There have been fires through the years going back 50yrs when I first ventured up that way on Mt Ord and 4 peaks and some of those areas but nothing like what I saw yesterday. The fire fighters did a great job saving that small towing business and houses at Sunflower as there is nothing behind the buildings for miles. They saved Tonto Basin and Pumpkin center and that entire area but man it may get ugly when and if we get monsoon and fall rains. There are times they get 1-2" in those areas from big cloud burst and there and in many areas there is absolutely nothing to slow down runoff there may be some real problems with flooding and taking out bridges over washes and creeks
I sure hope not but man what a mess. If you go eastbound on 87 toward Payson from 188 turn off back about 12 miles? the right lane is closed due to guard rails being burned up and traffic was heavy and slow through that entire area from slower vehicles pulling the hills etc. was real glad I was westbound. Going to be a long time before things look anything like normal up in that part of the state.