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Residents, tourists evacuate as wildfire burns into northeastern Arizona's White Mountains

  • APTOPIX-Arizona-Wildfire

    A helicopter battles the blaze with lake water as smoke rises from the trees of the San Juan fire on Friday near Vernon, Ariz.

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

  • Arizona-Wildfire-3

    Campers evacuate a popular White Mountains camping area between Show Low and Springerville, Ariz., Thursday, June 26, 2014, as a wildfire continued to burn in the area. The San Juan Fire began to pick up again Friday morning prompting new evacuations in the small mountain communities, according to a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman. (AP Photo/White Mountain Independent, Karen Warnick)

    ASSOCIATED PRESS

APTOPIX-Arizona-Wildfire

A helicopter battles the blaze with lake water as smoke rises from the trees of the San Juan fire on Friday near Vernon, Ariz.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Enlarge

VERNON, Ariz. — Communities mostly populated with summer homes remain under mandatory evacuation orders because of a wildfire in northeastern Arizona’s White Mountains, but authorities say the flames have moved into thinned or previous burned parts of the forest.

They say crews may now be able to better manage the blaze first reported around noon Thursday southeast of the small community of Vernon. That’s halfway between Springerville and Show Low.

The San Juan Fire was estimated Friday at 2.3 square miles, down from the 3 square miles that was reported earlier.

Apache County sheriff’s spokesman Richard Guinn says more than 200 residents and tourists left the areas of Red Cabin Ranch, Greens Peak Hideaway and the Whiting Homestead by the time evacuations were ordered Thursday night.

Guinn says a half dozen others remained, but they have since left.

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