Over 1,000 evacuees return to Arizona homes with brush fire now 30% contained

Jun 29, 2023, 8:37 AM

Smoke rises from the Diamond Fire that has burned over 2,500 acres, causing mandatory evacuations W...

Smoke rises from the Diamond Fire that has burned over 2,500 acres, causing mandatory evacuations Wednesday, June 28, 2023, in Scottsdale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — More than 1,100 people have returned to their homes in northern Scottsdale, a Phoenix suburb, as firefighters declared a brush fire to be 30% contained.

The Arizona Department of Forestry lifted evacuation orders around 7 p.m. Wednesday. A state forestry spokesperson said one secondary structure has been destroyed, but no injuries have been reported.

Scottsdale officials said 1,145 people evacuated about 100 homes Tuesday evening when the fire broke out. Fueled by grass and brush, it grew to 3 square miles (7.7 square miles), fire officials said after crews finished digging a containment line.

Department of Forestry investigators believed the fire was human-caused but have not said whether the cause can be determined.

The fire was 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.

Arizona officials applied for a federal grant for funding to aid the battle the blaze, known locally as the Diamond fire. The Federal Emergency Management Agency provides funding of up to 75% of the eligible costs of fighting a fire.

The fire comes as drifting smoke from wildfires across Canada is 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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Over 1,000 evacuees return to Arizona homes with brush fire now 30% contained