Share this story...
Latest News

Brush fire southeast of Phoenix reaches 25 percent containment

PHOENIX — A wildfire consumed three homes and forced the evacuation of hundreds more southeast of Phoenix on Wednesday.

The 1,100-acre Kearny River Fire was burning near the community of Kearny, Arizona, about 85 miles from Phoenix. About 2,000 people live in the area.

The blaze was 25 percent contained by Friday. A majority of the evacuees have been allowed to return home.

Mark Clark with Pinal County said the Stevens Trailer Park outside of town was evacuated.

Two sheds and a vehicle were lost in addition to the houses.

State Sen. Barbara McGuire said more people could be evacuated, especially those in another trailer park downriver.

Part of State Route 177 was reopened near Kearny, from milepost 138 to 145, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.

McGuire said slurry was dropped on the flames at least once, but the fire had turned back towards the town.

“There were maybe a couple of backyards that have caught fire that our local firefighters were able to put out,” she said.

The senator said no injuries had been reported.

“We have two single-engine airtankers, two Type 2 handcrews and 10 engines either on-scene or en route,” State Forestry Fire Information Officer Carrie Templin said.

Clark said there were more than 100 firefighters battling the flames.

Officials said the fire was burning through saltcedar in a dry riverbed. Templin said saltceder can cause erratic fire behavior.

Jerry, a Kearny resident, said homeowners used hoses to wet houses and surrounding areas as a precaution. He said the fire stayed about 100 yards from homes in his area and the neighborhood seemed to be unscathed.