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Fast-Moving Arizona Wildfire Scorches 5,000 Acres

 / Updated 
A helicopter battles the blaze with lake water as smoke rises from the trees of the San Juan fire near Vernon, Az., on June 27. Authorities say communities mostly populated with summer homes are under mandatory evacuation orders as of Thursday evening due to the growing wildfire.
A helicopter battles the blaze with lake water as smoke rises from the trees of the San Juan fire near Vernon, Az., on June 27. Authorities say communities mostly populated with summer homes are under mandatory evacuation orders as of Thursday evening due to the growing wildfire.Patrick Breen / AP

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A wildfire in eastern Arizona jumped containment lines and spread to 5,000 acres Friday afternoon, endangering 90 structures, fire officials said. Nine Hotshot crews and additional firefighters were battling the fire, which broke out on Thursday night just east of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, said Pamela Baltimore, a U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman. Two nearby towns were under evacuation warnings, and the Grand Canyon American Red Cross opened a shelter for displaced residents, according to the organization.

The blaze is burning through areas that burned before or had been thinned in an effort to reduce fuel for wildfires, azcentral.com reported. But dry brush, steep terrain, low humidity and 30-mph winds were working against the air and ground personnel, Baltimore said. Temperatures were expected to soar into the mid-90s on Saturday and Sunday, according to Weather.com. The fire is thought to be human-caused.

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