Arizona forest fire triggers new evacuation orders

first_imgGREER, Ariz. (AP) — More than 2,000 firefighters from several states battled a 287-square-mile wildfire in eastern Arizona that forced the evacuation of mountain communities and the closure of roads and a key highway as it burned its way through dry timber and brush.Fire officials said late Sunday night that the blaze expanded by several thousand acres during the day and had reached 184,000 acres, the third largest in the state’s history.About 2,300 firefighters are in the scene, including many from several western states and as far away as New York, fire information officer Peter Frenzen said.Crews have been converging on the fire site, 160 miles east of Phoenix, since it erupted nine days ago but so far there is zero containment.In the vacation town of Greer, which has fewer than 200 year-round residents, many people have voluntarily left. Those who remained, mostly business owners, dealt with haze heavily tinged with smoke. Among them was the owner of the 101-year-old Molly Butler Lodge, who was hauling out his most valuable items.last_img