Goodwin Fire Update: Governor Ducey Declares State Of Emergency Featured font size + -

Hundreds of people have been evacuated from their homes in some parts of the USA state of Arizona due to the rapidly spreading Goodwin Fire.

Many residents have painful memories of the 2013 wildfire that killed 19 members of an elite firefighting crew.

A fire department news release said that fire officials "will reassess Stage II restrictions and make appropriate changes when local fire danger decreases".

Low humidity, temperatures hovering around 90 Fahrenheit and 35 miles per hour (55 kph) wind gusts are in the forecast through the weekend and may "contribute to extreme fire behavior", the National Weather Service said in an advisory. With more than 800 emergency workers battling it, the fire is at 45 percent containment.

Stina Sieg from member station KJZZ in Phoenix spoke to some residents forced from their homes and seeking refuge at a Red Cross shelter in Prescott Valley.

Firefighters are battling the Goodwin Fire in dense chaparral that hasn't burned in more than four decades.

"We called a general recall to staff additional equipment", Freitag said, "and that equipment is being utilized to protect properties within our fire district boundaries".

A new wildfire that broke out Tuesday has prompted evacuations for dozens more homes in San Bernardino County.

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency in the county and directed $200,000 in emergency funds to fire suppression efforts and reimbursements for emergency response and recovery costs.

Only 2011 surpasses the number of acres burned, and no other year going back to 2000 has seen this many wildfires in the first five months of the year. "So please understand that while we send firefighters into hard places, there are places we will not go".

Debbie Maneely, a US Forest Service spokeswoman, said the fire's size is expected to increase because of high winds. Dewey-Humboldt has about 4,000 residents. "Now you can smell it so that's a little worrisome because it might be blowing toward us".

Yavapai County Emergency Management Coordinator Denny Foulk said there are about 2,000 residents in the area affected by the fire and 3,000 structures in the evacuated area were at risk but officials were not immediately sure how many are homes.

A new map released by the Yavapai County Emergency Management Thursday morning showed the Goodwin Fire has grown to almost 25,000 acres from its previously reported 21,000.

AP writers Clarice Silber and Bob Christie contributed from Phoenix.

  • Latoya Cobb