Wildfires Threaten Several Western States; Number of Homes Damaged

June 22, 2005

Hot temperatures and gusty winds aided several wildfires burning in a Southern California desert community and a national forest in neighboring Arizona on Wednesday, damaging a number of homes and threatening many more as day turned into evening.

A 1,500-acre grass fire in California made its way through the Mojave Desert some 100 miles east of downtown Los Angeles, an area that includes nearly 2,000 ranches and homes.

Although the flames were a threat to some 700 homes at one point, less than a dozen had burned and about two dozen remained in danger by late afternoon, according to the California Department of Forestry.

Next door in Arizona, two lightning-caused brush fires resulted in the evacuation of at least 250 homes from a subdivision in the Tonto National Forest some 20 miles northeast of Phoenix. No injuries were reported in these fires.

In California, authorities noted that the winter’s heavy rains helped for large growths of brush which were now burning as temperatures inland hit 90 degrees the last few days and topped 100 in desert areas.

Editor’s note: See related stories in West news.

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