About 150 homes evacuated in fast-moving Arizona wildfire: authorities

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 09, 2015 1:57 AM

By David Schwartz

PHOENIX (Reuters) - A raging fire broke out on Saturday in a wildlife refuge in northwestern Arizona near the California border, forcing the evacuation of about 150 homes, fire officials said.

Authorities ordered the mandatory evacuations from homes in the rural area after the wildfire sparked on Saturday afternoon grew to 2,000 acres in the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, said Bureau of Land Management spokeswoman Dolores Garcia.

As of late Saturday, an undermined number of structures had been burned, Garcia added.

The American Red Cross had set up a shelter for displaced residents.

"This is a major one and we're aggressively trying to fight it," Garcia said of the fast-moving fire.

About 300 firefighters were called in to battle the so-called Willow Fire on the ground and in the air as the blaze roared through trees, grass and brush in Mohave Valley, south of Bullhead City, Arizona.

Billowing smoke from the fire was appearing on radar, officials said. There was no estimate for how long it would take to contain the fire, Garcia said, and no injuries have been reported. The cause remains under investigation.

(Editing by Chris Michaud, Robert Birsel)