Arizona Braces for Winds as Wildfires Sweep West

The Latest: Southern California blaze prompts evacuations

The Latest: Southern California blaze prompts evacuations

The blaze, dubbed the Goodwin Fire, has charred almost 25,000 acres (10,120 hectares) and destroyed an unknown number of homes since erupting on Saturday in the Prescott National Forest, 70 miles (113 km) north of Phoenix.

McCabe anxious that her house might have had an orange tag placed on it by authorities to mark residents evacuated safely away from the fire zone.

Yavapai County is now under Stage II Fire Restrictions, which prohibits the use of explosives or certain types of combustible engines.

On Friday, a day before the Goodwin Fire ignited, Ducey had already declared a state of emergency to help with fire suppression after more than a dozen fires were sparked since April, "aided by high temperatures, winds, and available fuels". It grew again on Wednesday as evacuation orders were extended to Dewey, Walker, Chauncey Ranch Road, Blue Hills, Potato Patch, Mountain Pine Acres. Thousands of evacuees will not be able to go home for days as the fire continues to burn in brush and forest about 100 miles (160 kilometers) north of Phoenix.

On the bright side, State Route 69 is re-opened, and the citizens of the town of Mayer have been reunited with their homes.

"It's absolutely incredible the risks that have been taken", Mascher said of coping with a fire that crews have described as the "worst of the worst".

About 70 people spent Thursday night in two shelters set up at the high school and a local community college.

The Latest: Southern California blaze prompts evacuations
Evacuations ordered for town of Mayer for growing wildfire near Prescott

Ducey announced he would be traveling to Yavapai County on Thursday to meet with officials, receive a full briefing and visit with people impacted by the fire.

The wind-whipped flames jumped State Route 69 on Wednesday after roaring into Mayer. There was no timetable to reopen the roadway.

The Arizona Department of Transportation suggested alternative routes for those traveling to and from Prescott.

If someone drives past a road block down a closed road, authorities said they could face significant citations and fines for getting in the way of service vehicles. Reservations for the next two weeks were canceled.

Campers were eligible for full refunds.

"It got a head of steam, built up energy, built up the fire, and now it's pushing toward communities", said Todd Abel, Southwest Area Incident Management Team operations section chief. "I can't even tell you how I feel right now, just shocked, devastated and not knowing for sure if I've got a home to come to that's still standing or not", Shoat said.

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