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Fire destroys homes in southern Arizona, others told to evacuate

(Twitter Photo/@sonoitadeb)

PHOENIX — A wildfire destroyed several homes in southern Arizona overnight and at least 100 more remained empty after an evacuation order on Wednesday.

Tiffany Davila with the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management said firefighters had gotten a little control over the 1,300-acre Encino Fire burning near Sonoita.

“While forward progression has been stopped, obviously the crews aren’t going away,” she said. “If we need extra resources, we’ll bring them in. Because it is in Sonoita, we want to take all of the precautions that we can.”

Fewer than 1,000 people live in Sonoita, but the area is one of the state’s premier areas in which to grow grapes for wine.

Davila said there was no return timetable for the people who were told to evacuate.

“I don’t know when evacuation orders will be lifted,” she said. “Because the fire burned right through that area, they’re keeping the evacuations in place for the moment.”

The Arizona Daily Star reported that the fire knocked power out for a majority of homes in the area.

About 100 firefighters were working the blaze.

One firefighter broke his ankle. No other injuries have been reported.

The cause of the fire was under investigation but lightning was spotted in the area.

KTAR’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.

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