Containment Increases Around Arizona’s East Desert Fire

Fire is believed to be human caused




PHOENIX (AP) — A wind-whipped brush fire that grew to more than 2 square miles (6 square kilometers) was 70 % contained by Tuesday afternoon and authorities were getting ready to lift evacuation orders.

InciWeb: East Desert Fire

More than 130 homes were evacuated Monday as a precaution with some of the homes less than a mile from the fire.

But crews got control of the blaze with the containment figure rising from 20% by Monday afternoon to 50% by nightfall.

Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management officials said if crews continue to have the upper hand, evacuation orders should be lifted Tuesday evening and about 250 people could return home.

The fire, which is under investigation and believed to be human-caused, started Sunday in the community located 33 miles (53 kilometers) north of downtown Phoenix.

Winds picked up, causing fire to spread through a green space, into the desert, over a mountain and toward neighborhoods.

Authorities said another complicating factor was the density of vegetation, which had grown significantly thicker due to heavy rains last year.

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