Arizona wildfire forces evacuations of 7 small communities

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CLINTS WELL, Ariz. (AP) — Seven small communities have been evacuated as a precaution because of a wildfire that’s threatening about 500 homes in a forested area of north-central Arizona.

Coconino County Sheriff’s officials on Sunday afternoon ordered the immediate evacuation of the Mosqui Ranchettes, Starlight Pines, Clear Creek Pines, Tamerron Pines, Ponderosa Pine, Timber Ridge and Pine Canyon communities.

The fire that began Friday has burned 500 acres (202 hectares) about 9 miles (14.5 kilometers) east of Clints Well and near C.C. Cragin Reservoir on the Mogollon Rim.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation, but authorities say it’s believed to be human-caused.

The 500 firefighters and other personnel assigned to the fire include seven hotshot crews plus engines, bulldozers and helicopters.

The wildfire also has resulted in closures of several forest roads.

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