Ducey declares state of emergency, directs funds toward Goodwin Fire

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The fire, which has now burned about 45 square miles, was one of the top firefighting priorities in the US after it rapidly grew while burning through a dense, rugged forest.

The fire forced the evacuation of Mayer and Dewey-Humboldt along with several other communities, and one of the main roads into Prescott was closed.

There are over a thousand firefighting personnel on scene, but at last report there was only 1% containment of a fire that started this past weekend and is believed to have been human-started. Residents of the communities of Mayer, Poland Junction, Mount Union, and Chaparral Hills have been fully evacuated. They consumed some homes, but somehow aircraft dropping retardant and crews on the ground kept it from destroying the entire town.

The local sheriff said he thought all hope was lost as the massive fire approached the larger town of Dewey-Humboldt. State Route 69 reopened early Friday.

Authorities estimated that the fire has burned a handful of homes.

Dozens of firefighters strengthened bulldozer lines near Mayer overnight in a bid to protect the town of more than 1,400 residents in hot and dry conditions.

A Red Cross shelter for evacuees was set up at Bradshaw High School in Prescott Valley.

The fire quadrupled in size on Tuesday and led to evacuations in multiple communities south of Prescott.

Firefighters on Thursday were also battling wildfires in California, New Mexico, Utah and Washington state.

The fire in the mountains about 75 miles (120 kilometers) north of Phoenix, fanned by 35 mph (56 kph) winds, has charred more than 28 square miles (73 square kilometers). The fire was ignited by someone using a weed-burning torch.

The Goodwin Fire is still too unsafe for fire officials to make a good assessment of the conditions or to even find out how many structures have been destroyed.

In Southern California, a wildfire burning on the Camp Pendleton Marine Corps base and in the city of San Clemente was 90 per cent contained.

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