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Rain helps slow down 179-acre wildfire blazing near Arizona forest

(AP File Photo)

PHOENIX – Rain has helped slow the spread of a wildfire burning near a national forest far north of Phoenix, officials said.

Crews had contained the Mill Fire, blazing just outside Crown King, about 100 miles northwest of the Valley, at 50 percent on Wednesday.

The fire grew to 179 acres by late Tuesday afternoon, but at a much more sluggish rate than the night before, when it jumped from 100 acres to 162 acres and was contained at zero percent.

No structures were in the path of the blaze in Yavapai County.

Air tankers dumped retardants onto the rough terrain and helicopters brought firefighters to the remote area close to Prescott National Forest.

Personnel had grown to 121 firefighters but that has dropped to 70, the Bureau of Land Management said. A Type 3 incident team was on hand.

Rain significantly reduced fire behavior and the amount of heat crews faced, bureau spokeswoman Dolores Garcia told KTAR News 92.3 FM.

More storms were expected in the area but also winds.

Brush, grass and juniper were proving fuel for the fire, which broke out late Monday morning.

Cause of the fire has not been determined.

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