Posted: 5/15/2002 5:25:30 PM EDT
Began about 3 hours ago, already consumed 500 acres. Is now burning in one housing development, four other developments are under manditory evacuation by the county Sheriff. About a thousand homes under manditory evacuation.
Fire is burning to the south and southwest of the city, State Highway 89 is closed in both directions south of the city.
Fire in Prescott National Forest chars 500 acres
May 15, 2002 18:05:00
PRESCOTT - A fast-moving wildfire whipped by winds charred 500 acres on the Prescott National Forest by Wednesday afternoon and forced the evacuation of four housing subdivisions near the city, authorities.
An unknown number of people living in the Highland Pines, Ponderosa Park, Mountain Club and Cathedral Pines subdivisions were being asked to leave their homes as a precautionary measure by the Yavapai County Sheriff's Department.
Indian Creek Campground also was evacuated, said Steve Sams, a spokesman for the forest.
He said the blaze was burning about 2 1/2 miles south of the city and moving east "and not moving toward the main part of Prescott."
Sams said the cause of the wildfire, first spotted about 2 p.m. Wednesday, was not immediately known.
Five air tankers and a helicopter were battling the blaze with five more crews en route to the fire, according to Sams.
Meanwhile, a wildfire was 30 percent contained Wednesday after scorching 600 acres of heavily wooded forest in northern Arizona and other crews were battling a 35-acre wildfire west of Flagstaff.
The cause for all three fires was under investigation, authorities said.
An overnight drop in temperatures and wind helped firefighters on the Springer fire near Payson although there was no immediate estimate on full containment, said Karen Malis-Clark, a spokeswoman for the Coconino National Forest.
The fire, which was first reported Tuesday afternoon, grew quickly as it was driven across the national forest by winds gusting up to 40 mph.
About 200 firefighters were on the scene again Wednesday.
No homes were being threatened by the blaze, which was in the Clints Well area about 20 miles north of Payson, said Malis-Clark.
State Highway 87, which had been closed between Clints Well and Winslow, was reopened Wednesday although travelers had to be escorted as they passed near the fire area.
The Hart fire was reported late Wednesday morning west of the San Francisco Peaks and there was no immediate estimate for control or containment, according to fire information spokeswoman Connie Moen.
On the Net:
Coconino National Forest: http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/coconino/