updated 6/29/2008 6:23:05 AM ET 2008-06-29T10:23:05

A small plane crashed near Las Vegas on Saturday, killing four people and starting a fire that threatened homes.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the single-engine plane went down in the afternoon in a forested area. It then burst into flames and touched off a wildfire.

Fire officials said the blaze quickly climbed steep terrain in a recreational area and was threatening about 40 homes.

Authorities have recommended that residents evacuate. Federal authorities are investigating the crash.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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