Firefighters Keep Struggling with Cave Creek, Arizona Fires

The Cave Creek Complex fire continues to grow but is moving away from populated areas that had initially been threatened by the lightning-sparked fire.


CAVE CREEK, Ariz. (AP) -- The Cave Creek Complex fire continues to grow but is moving away from populated areas that had initially been threatened by the lightning-sparked fire.

The fire was at 116,550 acres Monday night and 20 percent contained, said Emily Garber, a spokeswoman for the team fighting the fire.

More than 800 firefighters were working on the blaze Monday, focusing mainly on the northern flank of the fire. Crews were looking for natural boundaries and building lines north of the fire. They were also dropping water and retardant over the blaze.

Fire officials hoped that a route that runs from the Verde River to Interstate 17 would stop the fire from spreading, but the flames jumped Bloody Basin Road and scorched another 2 miles north, said Tom Berglund, a spokesman for the team fighting the fire.

Garber said a hot-shot crew would concentrate Tuesday on fighting the northern end of the fire.

The southern end of the fire, closest to populated areas, was more manageable.

''It cooled off considerably,'' Berglund said.

Two small ranches, with a few buildings, and several Forest Service administrative buildings continued to be threatened by the fire, according to Berglund.

A 345-kilovolt line that delivers power from Glen Canyon Dam to the Phoenix area will be de-energized as needed depending on fire behavior.

Residents from the Camp Creek area were not allowed to return to their homes because of firefighting activities in the area, Berglund said.

A fire burning near Roosevelt Dam was 40 percent contained Monday afternoon with full containment expected by Thursday, said Wendell Peacock, a spokesman for the team fighting that fire.

Firefighters were building lines, putting out hot spots and mopping up the 19,370-acre Three complex fire. Water was also being dropped over the blaze.

Firefighters have ''made excellent progress on the north flank of the fire,'' Peacock said.

The blaze was not threatening any structures, though one storage shed was reported burned.

All recreation sites were open, except Cholla, where fire crews were staging.

On the Net:

National Interagency Fire Center: www.nifc.gov