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Arizona Wildfires Consume Close to 13,000 Acres.

Byline: Mark E. Ruquet,

NU Online News Service, May 15, 2:14 p.m. EDT

Firefighters are grappling with rugged terrain in an effort to contain wildfires in Arizona that have consumed close to 13,000 acres.

One of the largest of four fires is the Sunflower fire, 30 miles north of Mesa, Ariz. State officials issued a bulletin today saying that while large plumes of smoke are expected, there is no reason for public concern. The fire, which has consumed more than 4,600 acres, is 5 percent contained.

The cause of that fire is under investigation.

But while Sunflower is the largest blaze, of more pressing concern is the Gladiator fire that threatens the tourist community of Crown King. More than 300 structures are at risk, including homes and cabins.

Reports say the fire has already destroyed three structures, and has consumed around 1,300 acres. Residents have been evacuated.

The cause of the fire is reportedly from an individual who produced a "structured fire on private property."

Weather conditions may complicate matters for firefighters, with 10 to 20 mph winds expected throughout the day.

There is no rain in the forecast for the next five days.
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Publication:Property and Casualty 360
Date:May 15, 2012
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