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Crews working to suppress fire in Prescott National Forest

Posted at 11:33 AM, Jul 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-17 14:33:22-04

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) - Crews are trying to suppress a grass and brush wildfire that is starting to burn ponderosa pine on the Prescott National Forest in north-central Arizona while sending smoke toward New Mexico.

The fire started late Sunday by lightning 16 miles south of Prescott grew to approximately 11 square miles (28 square kilometers) by Wednesday and a top-tier management team is scheduled to take over Thursday.

Forest officials said firefighting crews supported by air tankers, fire engines and bulldozers were constructing containment lines and burning vegetation along those lines to deprive the fire of fuel.

Forest officials said smoke from the fire would be visible in Prescott and surrounding communities, while the National Weather Service said the smoke likely would drift into New Mexico late Wednesday night and Thursday.