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Brush fire southeast of Phoenix reaches 75 percent containment

PHOENIX — A wildfire that consumed 1,400 acres and
and forced the evacuation of hundreds of home southeast of Phoenix is nearly contained.

Fire officials said the Kearny River Fire, burning about 85 miles from Phoenix, was 75 percent contained Monday morning.

The area began burning June 17 near the community of Kearny, Arizon. About 2,000 people live in the area. Three homes were burned down but a majority of the evacuees were allowed to return home within a day.

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

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

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

State Sen. Barbara McGuire said slurry was dropped on the flames at least once, but the fire turned back toward the town at one point.

“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.