Arizona

Jul 9, 2013 11:11 PM by Erika Flores

Kearny "Shipman Fire" burning at 518 acres

KEARNY-The Shipman fire near Kearny, Arizona is burning at 518 acres.

Most of the activity is in the interior of the perimeter that fire officials have set.

Firefighters have dug a line between the fire and the town to keep the fire contained away from homes.

The Bureau of Land Management tells News 4 Tucson they've been watching storm cells closely, and helicopters have been working on and off dumping water from the nearby lake to hot spots.

Around 200 firefighters from across Southern and Central Arizona are working the blaze including two hot shots.

Tuesday morning you could just see a plume of smoke coming from the Shipman Fire, but by midday, a flare sparked.

"It's scary," said Enrique Dominguez.

67-year-old Dominguez has lived in this area all his life.

He lives at one of the last neighborhoods before the railroad tracks that is in between the fire and the town.

"As long as it stays over there, we'll be alright I guess," said Dominguez.

After a reported lightning strike, the fire started burning the dried up Gila River bed.

"This fire got pushed immediately in all directions," said Jonetta Trued with Eastern Arizona Incident Management Team.

Around 200 firefighters are battling the blaze and ten more are expected.

"That is the point of ignition, and this is the homes that were evacuated in Kearny," said Trued.

A mobile Home Park near the fire is in a mandatory evacuation, other parts of Kearny were under a voluntary evacuation.

That evacuation lifted Tuesday.

Twenty-five stayed at the shelter Monday night.

Mike, who lives near the railroad tracks said he never went.

"They reassured me it wasn't as dangerous as it looked," said Mike.

He's been watering trees near his home.

"Once they get really dry I think they'd ignite in a hurry," said Mike.

Dominguez did stay at the shelter Monday night, tried to come home after the evacuation was lifted, but after seeing the flare up, he decided to go back to the shelter.

Around the same time as the flare sparked, electricity was shut off to the town as a safety precaution, but re-routed about two hours later and power was restored.

Fire officials tell News 4 Tucson often fires lay down at night and early morning, but as the heat progresses during the day, they can flare up and that's what happened here.

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