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Sun, Jan. 19

Fire on Tonto National Forest land grows but burning away from communities

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CAVE CREEK — A grass and brush fire continues to grow on national forest land on the northeastern outskirts of metro Phoenix but officials say it is burning away from communities.

Tonto National Forest officials said Saturday the fire had grown to nearly 8 square miles and forced the closure of a road to campgrounds and day-use areas near Horseshoe and Bartlett lakes.

Campers and others in the area were being escorted out.

Helicopters dipped water out of Bartlett Lake to drop on the fire as they and air tankers assisted the approximately 240 firefighters and other personnel assigned to the fire.

The fire is believed to be human-caused. It is located about 8 miles east of Cave Creek.

No injuries or structure damage has been reported.

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