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Winds push brush fire threatening homes in Dome Valley
Firefighters from the state land department were battling a brush fire that began Wednesday afternoon near the town of Ligurta.
According to forestry officials, the fire has burned across an estimated 60 acres in the vicinity of Avenue 20E and County 9th Street.
"There is high fire activity right now," said Lori Cook, fire information officer. "The flames are about 30 feet in length."
Cook said the fire, which has been named the Dome Valley Fire, was reported at 2:30 p.m. and there were about 60 personnel on the scene at 6 p.m.
In addition to two 20-person hand crews, Cook said there were two engines, a water tender and a bulldozer at the scene.
"We have ordered two more hand crews, three engines, a water tender and another bulldozer," Cook said.
Judy Wood, a spokeswoman for the Arizona State Land Department’s Forestry Division, said no structures are currently being threatened and no injuries have been reported.
The fire is burning in salt cedar and arrowweed, and flames could been seen for miles Wednesday afternoon, according to Wood. "This type of material tends to produce very thick black smoke when it burns."
Firefighters from Rural/Metro were on standby at the scene protecting two homes, which were initially threatened by the fire.
According to Fire Marshal Curt Foster, Rural/Metro received a 911 call about a brush fire and sent an engine to the scene.
They also kept a water tender in reserve.
Foster said when Rural/Metro arrived, wildland firefighters from the state land department were already on the scene.
Foster added that more agencies are being called in to help battle the blaze, which is being fueled by winds.
Cook said although still in the initial attack phase of battling the blaze, firefighters are using roads on the north and west sides of the fire to help contain it.
She added that firefighters had initially planned to use a levee road that was south of the fire to contain it, but the fire, being pushed by winds, jumped that road and moved into the Gila River bed.
Cook said the fire was moving south, and high winds were expected throughout the day.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6854.