Arizona fire grows to more than 12,400 acres, 3 homes burned

PHOENIX (AP) — Firefighters were working Monday to get a grip on a wildfire north of Phoenix that has destroyed several structures, including four homes.

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The blaze, which was first reported Friday afternoon in the Tonto National Forest, has grown to more than 19 square miles (49 square kilometers) with zero containment.

Forest officials said the wildfire is burning in grass and brush. But four homes, 10 outbuildings and several cars have been destroyed, according to fire spokeswoman Susan Blake. One of the homes that burned down was near a spring called Honeymoon Seep.

Some residents who evacuated were leaving summer homes. Crews continue to set backfires to help protect structures and other assets near Cave Creek. Firefighters are focused on suppressing flames on the fire’s northern side. They have already done some burn-out operations on the south side.

Those in the area can expect to see more smoke and fire activity. Crews are also dealing with a forecasted high of more than 100 degrees, dry heat and winds more than 10 mph.

No injuries have been reported, but Forest Service officials said the Humboldt Lookout and FAA communication equipment are threatened.

The wildfire also forced the shutdown of access to Bartlett Lake, a popular recreation spot.

The fire’s cause remains under investigation.

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