Arizona wildfire forces hundreds from homes

Arizona wildfire forces hundreds from homes

The fire jumped the highway about 5 p.m. Tuesday.

The wildfire is five percent contained.

"Fire crews are working against thick vegetation, very windy conditions up there, at times the fire has been erratic, producing unsafe fire behavior", says Tiffany Davila with the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management. Also, the fire did cross the highway at one point Tuesday afternoon.

Officials evacuated the almost 1,500 residents in the Town of Mayer Tuesday, along with the area west of State Route 69, Poland Junction, Chaparral Hills, Breezy Pines, and Pine Flat.

Power had been restored to two of the areas by 8 p.m., but was still out in parts of Mayer and Dewey, impacting about 1,100 homes.

A pre-evacuation notice was put in place for Walker, Potato Ranch and Mountain Pine Acres.

The cause of the fire, which started on Saturday 14 miles south of Prescott, was still under investigation.

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It is burning in an area north and west of the junction of Senator Highway and County Road 177.

Several communities had to be evacuated because of the fast moving flames.

Bradshaw Mountain High School in Prescott Valley is being used as a shelter. There are no reports yet of any structures being destroyed as the fire approached Mayer.

Tiffany Davila of the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management says the fire is in a rugged area, and heavy winds Monday and Tuesday have made it hard to suppress.

Officials said strong winds helped fuel the fire burning mostly through chaparral and heavy grass that have been untouched for almost 40 years.

A Type 1 Incident Management Team took over command of the fire at 6 a.m. Monday.

Daily Courier Photo Editor Les Stukenberg is broadcasting live on Facebook from near the Goodwin Fire.

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