Some Arizona wildfire evacuations lifted, weather improves

Published 7:21 am Friday, June 30, 2017

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Ariz. — After spending two nights in a shelter for people evacuated from a raging Arizona wildfire, Tracey McCabe was looking forward Thursday to sleeping in her own bed after authorities lifted some evacuation orders and said improving weather conditions were helping them fight the fire.

McCabe was among several hundred residents in the town of Mayer, population 1,400, allowed to return home after fire officials determined their homes were no longer at risk from a blaze that started Saturday and has burned 39 square miles (101 square kilometers).

She was worried that her house might have had an orange tag placed on it by authorities to mark that residents had been evacuated away from the fire zone.

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“That means you’re not there. It’s an open invitation to thieves,” she said.

But thousands of Arizona residents from other nearby towns were still under evacuation orders, among them about 1,400 children from a summer camp. Handfuls in other states were also forced to leave as a growing spate of wildfires was fanned by hot and windy weather. Firefighters on Thursday were also battling wildfires in California, New Mexico, Utah and Washington state.