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Arizona wildfire doesn't grow; evacuations remain

Published on NewsOK Modified: June 29, 2014 at 4:55 am •  Published: June 29, 2014

VERNON, Ariz. (AP) — A wildfire that has charred nearly 8 square miles in eastern Arizona's White Mountains was holding steady, though the human-caused blaze has not been brought under control at all, officials said.

The fire has not grown and crews have made headway with burnout operations and retardant drops as winds that have whipped the flames in recent days slowed, Bill Morse, spokesman for the Southwest Area Incident Management Team, said Saturday evening.

Communities mostly populated with summer homes remained under mandatory evacuation orders because of the fire about 135 miles east of Phoenix, near the New Mexico line, which was reported around noon Thursday. There have been no reported injuries, and no new evacuations or notices to be ready to flee have been issued.

A total of 37 summer homes in the Red Cabin Ranch, Carlock Ranch and Whiting homestead areas remained evacuated as a precaution, and authorities said more than 90 structures in three communities could be threatened. Those structures include homes, barns and sheds.

Morse revised estimates of the number of people who evacuated, saying 25 left the area southeast of Vernon.

Residents packed a community meeting Saturday evening, where incident commander Matt Reidy said forest-thinning work that has been done in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests helped firefighters.

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