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Wildfire in eastern Arizona is growing fast, triggering evacuations

San Juan wildfire in Arizona grows fast: Zero to 2,000 acres in five hours

A fast-growing wildfire in eastern Arizona has reached about 2,000 acres and triggered mandatory evacuations in two areas, officials said.

The San Juan fire, first reported late Thursday morning, has been burning pine trees in the Apache Sitgreaves National Forests and the Fort Apache Indian Reservation.

Flames have been climbing into the trees' crowns and spreading through the canopy, the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs' Division of Forestry and Wildland Fire Management said on Facebook.

The fire is southeast of Vernon, Ariz., and has been moving north and northeast, it said. Airplanes and four hotshot crews were dispatched Thursday afternoon.

The fire had grown to about 2,000 acres and was threatening a dozen structures, officials with the the Apache Sitgreaves National Forests said on Twitter just before 5 p.m. Mandatory evacuations were announced for the Red Cabin Ranch subdivision and Whiting Homestead, they said a few hours later.

Photos posted on Twitter and videos showed flames and billowing gray and white smoke rising from the trees.

For more news, follow @raablauren on Twitter.

Copyright © 2015, Los Angeles Times


7:58 p.m.: Added news of evacuations.

6:52 p.m.: Added description and links to photos and videos.

This story was originally posted at 6:30 p.m.