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Arizona fire grows to more than 14,000 acres, 15% contained

September 29, 2020 GMT
A Maricopa County Sheriff's vehicle blocks a road miles from a wildfire in the Tonto National Forest, as the fire has grown to more than 12,400 acres with zero containment Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, in Carefree, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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A Maricopa County Sheriff's vehicle blocks a road miles from a wildfire in the Tonto National Forest, as the fire has grown to more than 12,400 acres with zero containment Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, in Carefree, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
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A Maricopa County Sheriff's vehicle blocks a road miles from a wildfire in the Tonto National Forest, as the fire has grown to more than 12,400 acres with zero containment Monday, Sept. 28, 2020, in Carefree, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX (AP) — Firefighters were working Monday to get a grip on a wind-whipped wildfire north of Phoenix that has destroyed several structures including at four homes and 10 outbuildings.

The blaze, which was first reported Friday afternoon in the Tonto National Forest, grew to more than 22 square miles (57 square kilometers) by Monday night with 15% containment after crews did some burnout operations.

Fire officials said the wildfire, burning in grass and brush, grew by 5 square miles (13 square kilometers) from Sunday night.

Its cause remains under investigation.

Some residents who evacuated were leaving summer homes. Crews continue to set backfires to help protect structures and other assets near Cave Creek.

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Firefighters are focused on suppressing flames on the fire’s northern side. They have already done some burn-out operations on the south side.

Those in the area can expect to see more smoke and fire activity. Crews are also dealing with a forecasted high of more than 100 degrees, dry heat and winds more than 10 mph.

No injuries have been reported, but Forest Service officials said the Humboldt Lookout and FAA communication equipment remain threatened.

The wildfire also forced the shutdown of access to Bartlett Lake, a popular recreation spot.