ARIZONA NEWS

Firefighters making ‘excellent progress’ on eastern Arizona wildfire

May 2, 2018, 2:50 PM | Updated: May 3, 2018, 2:57 pm

(Photo: InciWeb)...

(Photo: InciWeb)

(Photo: InciWeb)

PHOENIX — A wildfire in eastern Arizona has reached more than 80 percent containment, despite spreading to more than 25,000 acres in nearly three weeks.

The Rattlesnake Fire had grown to 26,072 acres and had spread to the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, San Carlos Indian Reservation and the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.

It was about 86 percent contained.

There were also about 180 firefighters on the ground.

In an update on Wednesday, county officials said firefighters were making “excellent progress improving the containment” of the fire and that improving weather conditions allowed for “continued safe fireline construction.”

The cause of the fire was unknown. It was once believed to be human-caused and was under investigation, but it was unclear whether the investigation was continuing.

According to InciWeb, firefighters were conducting burnout operations north of the fire, which broke out around 1:30 p.m. on April 11.

Air support was used to try and extinguish the flames.

Forest Road 25 was closed.

Drivers were asked to avoid the area.

The wildfire was located about 20 miles southwest of Alpine, Arizona.

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Firefighters making ‘excellent progress’ on eastern Arizona wildfire