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Fire in Arizona prompts evacuation of 50 homes

Wildfires-New-Mexico-6-30

Smokerises from the Silver Fire in in southern New Mexico's Gila National Forest. Fire officials say the Silver Fire, expanded Wednesday to nearly 133 square miles. Meanwhile, in Arizona, a one square-mile wildfire burning in a central Arizona community has led to the evacuation of 50 homes that are threatened by the blaze.

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YARNELL, Ariz. — A one square-mile wildfire burning in a central Arizona community has led to the evacuation of 50 homes that are threatened by the blaze.

Fire information officer Mike Reichling says no homes have been lost in the fire northwest of the Yavapai County community of Yarnell.

Early estimates put the number of evacuated homes at 120, but the number was downgraded by officials closer to the fire.

Reichling says the blaze was within a mile of some homes but was burning away from them.

The Yarnell Hill fire prompted evacuations in the Model Creek, Buckhorn and Double A Bar Ranch areas about 85 miles northwest of Phoenix. The blaze also was within 200 yards of the Model Creek School.

Crews cleared brush and did other work around the evacuated homes to help guard against the fire.

The fire started on Friday and picked up momentum Sunday as the area experienced high temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions.

Two hundred firefighters are now working at the fire, but an additional 130 firefighters and more water- and retardant-dropping helicopters and aircraft are on their way.

The Red Cross said it has set up at Yavapai College in Prescott to provide refreshments for people who were evacuated and a break from the heat.

The relief agency said it’s prepared to open a shelter there if the need arises.

In another Arizona fire, a 2-acre blaze that started at a motorcycle salvage yard and spread to a trailer park has destroyed five mobile homes in the Gila County community of Rye, located more than 130 miles east of Yarnell.

Gila County Health and Emergency Services Director Michael O’Driscoll said no one was injured in Rye.

The fire was ignited Saturday night at All Bikes Sales located off Highway 87. It spread to neighboring federal Forest Service land but was fully contained within 12 hours of its start.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The Red Cross says seven adults and two children were staying at a shelter set up for people who were evacuated.

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