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The Latest: Better mapping puts Arizona fire at smaller size

July 23, 2019
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A helicopter carries a bucket of water to attack hot spots on the Museum Fire in Flagstaff, Ariz., Sunday, July 21 2019. (Jake Bacon/Arizona Daily Sun via AP)
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A helicopter carries a bucket of water to attack hot spots on the Museum Fire in Flagstaff, Ariz., Sunday, July 21 2019. (Jake Bacon/Arizona Daily Sun via AP)

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — The Latest on a wildfire north of Flagstaff that has burned 1.25 square miles (3.2 square kilometers) and forced some evacuations (all times local):

6:45 p.m.

Better mapping shows a wildfire in northern Arizona has a smaller footprint than previously estimated.

Fire officials say the blaze has burned 1.25 square miles (3.2 square kilometers) in the Coconino National Forest outside Flagstaff. They put its size earlier Monday at 1.6 square miles (4.1 square kilometers).

The fire is burning in Ponderosa pine trees and mixed conifer between two mountains.

Firefighters have been more challenged by the terrain than the weather. They’re expected an increased chance of rain this week that could be accompanied by sometimes erratic winds.

Fire officials say the wildfire is human-caused but haven’t determined exactly what sparked it.

4:45 p.m.

The city of Flagstaff and Coconino County have declared emergencies because of a wildfire burning in the area.

The wildfire has burned 1.6 square miles (4.1 square kilometers) near Mount Elden in Flagstaff. It started Sunday morning.

The emergency declaration frees up funding to use in response to the wildfire. It also allows the city and county to seek financial assistance from the state.

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Officials say public safety, communications infrastructure and homes are in danger.

More than two dozen homes are under orders to evacuate. Thousands of people have been told to prepare to leave their homes.

The fire was burning in Ponderosa pine trees and mixed conifer.

Rain that started falling over the fire Monday evening should help firefighters battling the blaze.

3:30 p.m.

Authorities have issued an evacuation notice for about two dozen homes north of Flagstaff as wildfire continues to grow in a popular summer getaway in northern Arizona.

Coconino County Sheriff’s officials say the evacuation goes into effect at 6 p.m. Monday and affects 20 to 30 homes scattered in the Mount Elden area.

They say it will help firefighters go in to burn out grass and other fuels.

Other areas remain under pre-evacuation notices.

Mountain bikers, horseback riders, campers and hikers were evacuated around Mount Elden on Sunday.

More than a dozen aircraft, including four air tankers, were dropping fire retardant and water on the blaze that had grown Monday to about 1.6 square miles (4.1 square kilometers).

It’s burning in Ponderosa pines and mixed conifer between Mount Elden and the San Francisco Peaks.

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1 p.m.

A wildfire in a popular summer getaway in Arizona keeps growing as crews try to keep it in the mountain area and away from homes and a ski resort.

More than a dozen aircraft, including four air tankers, were dropping fire retardant and water on the blaze in the Flagstaff area that had grown Monday to about 1.6 square miles (4.1 square kilometers).

Ground crews are working to establish containment lines.

Mountain bikers, horseback riders, campers and hikers were evacuated around Mount Elden on Sunday.

The blaze was first reported Sunday and is burning in Ponderosa pines and mixed conifer between Mount Elden and the San Francisco Peaks.

It’s being fought by roughly 200 firefighters, including 10 Hotshot crews.

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