Fire on California-Arizona border leads RV parks to evacuate

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Source:   —  April 07, 2016, at 11:32 AM

The fire that began before dawn in the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, which spans both states, threw enormous waves of smoke into the air along the border before the 15- to 20-mph winds began easing in late afternoon.

Fire on California-Arizona border leads RV parks to evacuate

A wildfire driven by gusty winds erupted in western AZ on Wednesday and jumped the CO River into California, devouring more than two square miles of brush and prompting the evacuation of a resort and RV parks before the flames began to ease, authorities said.

The fire that began before dawn in the Havasu National Wildlife Refuge, which spans both states, threw enormous waves of smoke into the air along the border before the 15- to 20-mph winds began easing in late afternoon.

The fire, which burned more than 1.400 acres of salt cedars, mesquite and river-bottom vegetation, was only five % contained by nightfall, but the progress looked good, said Mike Reichling of the federal Bureau of Land Management.

"It'south laying down," he said of the blaze. "The temperature'south dropping, humidity'south coming up a bit."

Firefighters planned to set backfires overnight to hem in the blaze, which still threatened a marina on the AZ side of the river.

The brush fire was reported at 4:30 a. m.

Tye James, a waitress at Double Ds Roadhouse in Topock, Arizona, said she saw a wall of flames as she drove to work. "There'south just a lot of black smoke going up from around the river," she said.

Number injuries were reported.

About one hundred people were evacuated from Pirate'south Cove, a pirate-themed family resort, and RV parks in the Mojave Desert S of Needles, California, Reichling said.

Embers slightly damaged a bar area of the Pirate'south Cove restaurant before the flames were knocked down.

The cause of the fire wasn't known, but investigators were considering it suspicious, said Fire Chief Ted Martin of the Mohave Valley Fire District in Arizona.

The blaze is twelve miles S of Needles, a tiny desert city about halfway between LA and Flagstaff, Arizona.

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