Wildfire grows near Kingman; 300+ homes evacuated - WNEM TV 5

Wildfire grows near Kingman; 300+ homes evacuated

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© (Source: CBS 5 News) © (Source: CBS 5 News)
© (Source: CBS 5 News) © (Source: CBS 5 News)
© (Source: CBS 5 News) © (Source: CBS 5 News)

The Dean Peak wildfire grew about 20 percent Thursday morning, inching closer to several small communities near Kingman. It is believed to have been started by lightning.

The Northern Arizona Incident Management Team said it has no containment on the fire, but crews have taken a defensive strategy to prevent any serious damages to personal property.

The wildfire has now consumed near 6,000 acres but has yet to cause any significant damages to nearby homes.

"If another thunderstorm comes up, it can take off," Firefighter Kelly Wood said. "If we get rain, obviously it will help, but other than that, we honestly can't tell (what will happen)."

More than 300 homes were evacuated, but firefighters remain optimistic those homes can be saved.

"(Burn-out areas) have been extremely helpful, keeping the fire away from the community itself," Wood said.

Crews have focused on burnout areas away from the fire itself in the hopes that this line of preburned trees and shrubs can stop the wildfire from spreading. In practice, burning these areas controls a line of possible fuel for the wildfire, and without a source of fuel, the wildfire will go cold.

However, firefighters said anything can happen.

"It will pop up out of the ground," Wood said about the wildfire. "It could be two, three, four days from now before it pops up out of the ground."

More than 400 firefighters are battling the wildfire including six hotshot crews and three helicopters in temperatures hotter than 100 degrees. 

The evacuations will remain in place until further notice.

Copyright 2013 CBS5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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