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Highline Fire forces first evacuations north of Payson

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PHOENIX — A wildfire north of Payson, Arizona, has grown large enough that officials have decided to evacuate the area.

The Gila County Sheriff’s Office has issued an evacuation order for residents near La Cienega and Ellison Creek Estates in the Ellison Creek drainage north of Control Road because of the Highline Fire.

According to authorities, the fire has burned over 4,000 acres and is at 5 percent containment.

The Highline Fire Incident Management Team made the evacuation recommendation based on the fire movement towards the community at about 7:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the Highline Fire Info Facebook page.

The Highline Fire recently merged with the Bear Fire, and now reports are combined totals of the two.

According to authorities, just short of 1,000 people are working to contain the wildfire.

Payson is about 70 miles south of Flagstaff.

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