Fire Forces Evacuations for Mountain Towns Near Phoenix (AZ)

Firefighters on a hoseline

CROWN KING, Ariz. (AP) — Officials in Yavapai County have ordered residents of several small remote mountain communities to evacuate as a wildfire threatens the area.

Yavapai County sheriff’s officials sent an evacuation order for residents of Crown King, Minnehaha and Horsethief Cabins Friday morning. Crown King has more than 100 residents but also has many vacation cabins. Crown King is a historic mining town that also was evacuated for a 2012 fire that destroyed some homes .

Sheriff’s spokesman Dwight D’Evelyn said between 80 and 100 residents of the communities evacuated Friday and many others left Thursday night. He said about 10 people refused to leave their homes.

The local American Red Cross chapter has opened an evacuation center at Mayer High School in the community of Mayer.

Prescott National Forest officials said the blaze broke out Thursday about 7 miles northwest of Crown King and has burned more than 5 square miles (13 square kilometers) of juniper, chaparral and timber.

Ground crews trying to corral the flames are being aided by three air tankers and four helicopters dropping fire retardant or water.

Crown King is about 80 miles (128 kilometers) north of Phoenix in the Bradshaw Mountains.

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