The Verde Fire outside of Cave Creek has moved across more than 2,600 acres in the desert northeast of the metro Phoenix area.
It’s burning in grass and brush in the rugged terrain on the east side of the Verde River, near Black Mesa.
Tonto National Forest officials said the blaze has spread because of gusty winds that kicked up in the area since Monday afternoon. Officials said the Verde River is serving as a fire break and the nearby communities of Rio Verde and the Fort McDowell Yavapai Nation are well protected at this time.
The lightning-caused fire was reported on Saturday after thunderstorms moved through the area.
Fire teams from Phoenix, Glendale and Scottsdale have been working the blaze and Phoenix area media report a hotshot crew from Oregon has been sent to the scene.
Officials said they are using air and ground resources to secure the active part of the fire on the southwest flank.
There was no official word on the level of containment as of Tuesday evening.