Arizona Wildfires

Jul 10, 2013 3:26 AM by Erika Flores

VIDEO: Shipman fire near Kearny, AZ grows to 518 acres

KEARNY, AZ - A lightning-caused wildfire in the small Arizona town of Kearny has burned over 500 acres. Evacuations have been lifted for residents of about 100 homes.

Around 200 firefighters from across Southern and Central Arizona are working the blaze including two hot shots.

The town lost electricity shortly before 2 p.m. Tuesday. The power utility turned power off as a safety precaution but is back on as of 5 p.m. Tuesday, SRP officials said.

Tuesday morning you could just see a plume of smoke coming from the Shipman Fire, but by midday, a flare sparked.

"It's scary," said Enrique Dominguez.

67-year-old Dominguez has lived in this area all his life.

He lives at one of the last neighborhoods before the railroad tracks that is in between the fire and the town.

"As long as it stays over there, we'll be alright I guess," said Dominguez.

One of the scarce power poles providing energy to the town was comprimised and could have created a hazard.

Twenty-five stayed at the shelter Monday night.

Mike, who lives near the railroad tracks said he never went.

"They reassured me it wasn't as dangerous as it looked," said Mike.

He's been watering trees near his home.

"Once they get really dry I think they'd ignite in a hurry," said Mike.

Dominguez did stay at the shelter Monday night, tried to come home after the evacuation was lifted, but after seeing the flare up, he decided to go back to the shelter.

Around the same time as the flare sparked, electricity was shut off to the town as a safety precaution, but re-routed about two hours later and power was restored.

Fire officials tell News 4 Tucson often fires lay down at night and early morning, but as the heat progresses during the day, they can flare up and that's what happened here.

The fire has charred an estimated 150 acres of dense vegetation in a dry riverbed and burned one house, Incident Management team spokeswoman Jonetta Trued said. Twenty-five people remain at the nearby shelter

Firefighters are using a bulldozer and other equipment to protect homes and the town's airstrip.

Kearny is located 73 miles southeast of Phoenix.


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