Ariz. wildfire burning near area where 19 firefighters died in June

Aug. 20, 2013 at 10:40 AM

PRESCOTT, Ariz., Aug. 20 (UPI) -- Arizona firefighters are working to contain a 615-acre wildfire near an area where 129 homes were burned and 19 firefighters killed in June, officials say.

The French Gulch wildfire, near the town of Yarnell that was evacuated during the earlier blaze, is burning under better conditions, The (Prescott, Ariz.) Daily Courier reported Tuesday.

The French Gulch fire was ignited Saturday night by lightning about five miles east of Yarnell, 20 miles south of Prescott. It had grown by about 165 acres Monday.

While both the French Gulch and Yarnell Hill wildfires started in boulder-strewn areas inaccessible by road, state forestry spokeswoman Carrie Dennett said recent monsoon rains that raised the humidity created better conditions for fighting the French Gulch fire.

June's drier conditions prevented firefighters from containing the 8,000-acre Yarnell Hill fire for two weeks. Fire officials hope to contain the French Gulch blaze by Friday. It was 5 percent contained Monday evening.

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