Wildfire Threatening Structures West of Casa Grande, Arizona

CASA GRANDE, Ariz. (AP) -- A 5,000-acre wildfire threatened about 100 structures Thursday evening about 20 west of Casa Grande, including an unknown number of homes, fire officials said.

Officials had planned to evacuate about 300 people but the fire calmed down later in the night and the evacuation was called off.

Maricopa and Pinal County sheriff's deputies were going to area homes to check on the welfare of the residents.

The Vekol fire had not damaged any structures, said Arizona State Land Department spokesman Cliff Pearlberg.

Fire officials were expecting the fire to grow to 8,000 acres, partially due to burnout operations, Pearlberg said.

''If people see fire real close to them it is probably firefighters burning out pockets of vegetation near the homes,'' Pearlberg said.

There was no estimated time for containment, Pearlberg said.

Another fire was burning about 20 miles south of Casa Grande.

The Green fire burned 950 acres by Thursday night. It was not threatening any structures, Pearlberg said.

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