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Multiple fires burning more than 60,000 combined acres in Arizona

by Jim Cross, KTAR-FM (Phoenix) |

PHOENIX – Seven active fires have charred more than 60,000 acres across Arizona but containment continues to grow.

The Gin and Griffin Fires, burning northeast of Globe, have merged into one. It has burned over 27,503 acres and has no containment.

The Salt Fire, burning just north of Globe. It has burned more than 20,000 acres and containment has grown to 20 percent.

The Salt Fire has also prompted evacuation orders for areas near Roosevelt Lake and Pinto Valley Mine.

Both the Griffin Fire and Salt Fire were caused by lightning.

An evacuation center for those affected by any of the three fires has been set up at Lee Kornegay Intermediate School in Miami.

The Constellation Fire is active on the other side of the Valley near Wickenberg, burning more than 9,600 acres. It also has no containment.

Two other small fires are burning on the northeast part of the Valley.

The McDowell Fire is 60 percent contained and has burned 615 acres, according to the Arizona State Forestry. The McDowell Regional Park and south portion of the Scottsdale Preserve will reopen Sunday.

Air tankers have been ordered for the Bronco Fire burning near the Sears Kay Ruins. It has burned 10 acres with no containment as of 2:15 p.m. Saturday.

A seventh-active fire is burning near Pine Lake in the Hualapai Mountains. The Ridge Fire has burned 3,079 acres, with containment growing to 16 percent. The fire has had no growth in the past two days.

Arizona has suffered through a scalding hot summer with record-breaking temperatures, low precipitation and record-breaking fires in terms of acres burned.

Two fires this year ballooned to burn more than 100,000 acres each. The Bush Fire in Maricopa County burned 193,455 acres becoming the fifth-largest fire in state history until it was extinguished July 6. The other was the Bighorn Fire in Pima County that burned 119,987 acres.

Nearly 700,000 acres have burned in Arizona this year.