Progress in fighting 4 Arizona wildfires

May 20, 2012 at 9:12 PM
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PHOENIX, May 20 (UPI) -- Officials said Sunday they have made progress against four Arizona wildfires but they worry high temperatures and low humidity could undo it all in minutes.

The largest of the four, known as the Sunflower fire, has been burning since May 12 northeast of Phoenix. It has consumed 16,620 acres and is considered 33 percent contained as of Sunday morning, The Arizona Republic said.

The second-largest fire, named Gladiator, was started by a house fire a week ago and has 12,898 acres burning, officials said. It's considered 12 percent contained and evacuation orders remained in effect for about 350 people in towns northeast of Phoenix.

Firefighters used several helicopters Sunday night to dump water on the flames. The Gladiator fire is estimated to have caused more than $5 million in damage.

The Bullflat fire on the Fort Apache Indian reservation was started by a lightning strike May 10 and has destroyed 2,145 acres since. Firefighters say it is 90 percent contained.

The easternmost Elwood fire on the remote San Carlos Indian reservation was considered mostly contained by Sunday morning after having consumed nearly 1,506 acres, firefighters said. The cause of the Elwood fire was under investigation, the report said.

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