Arizona wildfire 50 percent contained

13:31, June 27, 2010      

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A raging wildfire in northern Arizona that has consumed 15,000 acres of vegetation was about 50 percent contained by Saturday, authorities said.

Known as the Schultz fire, the blaze, which is located about 8 km north of Flagstaff and west of north Highway 89, was helped by a combination of the weather and the strong winds.

The fire, which was believed to have been started by an abandoned campfire Sunday, threatened homes, watersheds and wilderness areas in Coconino National Forest, the management team said.

As of Saturday, Highway 89 has opened while all other roads and trails in the vicinity of the fire still remain closed.

Fire danger is considered high to extreme in Arizona, which has seen two wildfires burn more than 3,000 acres each in the last month. Relief isn't expected until next month, when summer monsoons start bringing rain to the region, according to authorities.

Nine hundred firefighters battling the wildfire were focusing on the west, north and southwest edges of the blaze. Houses on the east edge, where hundreds of residents had been evacuated, are now out of danger, The Arizona Republic newspaper reported.

Fire crews have also made gains against other three wildfires in the state. The Eagle Rock Fire which covers 3,420 acres was 100 percent contained on Friday.

Other fires on smaller scales were expected to put out over the weekend, according to the report.

Source: Xinhua


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