1,145 people remain evacuated as crews dig containment line around Arizona brush fire

Jun 27, 2023, 9:15 PM | Updated: Jun 28, 2023, 12:08 pm

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Crews have successfully dug a containment line around a brush fire in northern Scottsdale that has burned 3.9 square miles (10 square kilometers) and threatened about 100 homes, authorities said Wednesday.

Fire officials said 1,145 people will remain evacuated from their homes until it’s determined that the containment line will hold up in expected windy conditions.

Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management spokesperson Tiffany Davila said the cause of the fire is under investigation.

The blaze, called the Diamond Fire, broke out around 5:15 p.m. Tuesday and quickly grew — fueled by grass and brush.

“We had very successful overnight. We have a line around the entire fire and people are starting to do mop-up,” Davila said at a news conference. “But we may still see flare-ups.”

Davila said the fire is considered “zero percent contained” until the containment line holds “and will in the wind.”

“People might not see smoke right now, but that doesn’t mean the fire is out,” she said.

Davila said one secondary structure has been destroyed by the fire, but no injuries have been reported.

Carlos Aguirre lives in a new community in north Scottsdale and said his wife called saying that their community was being evacuated.

“She got out and didn’t take the dog so we’re a little nervous,” Aguirre told Phoenix TV station KTVK.

Brendan Birdoes, who’s building a home in the area, said a friend notified him of the fire and the evacuations.

“Our friend told us this was happening,” Birdoes said. “He was out here mountain biking and so we came out to see what was going on.”

Scottsdale Fire Capt. David Folio said the fire began in Scottsdale but later moved into county and state lands to the east.

The fire is southwest of the Rio Verde Foothills community where horse ranches mix with expensive homes, some still under construction. A mountain regional park and a conservation center that rescues and rehabilitates wildlife are also nearby.

The Scottsdale fire comes as creating curtains of haze and raising air quality concerns this week throughout the Great Lakes region and in parts of the central and eastern United States.

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1,145 people remain evacuated as crews dig containment line around Arizona brush fire