7K acre Doce fire forces hundreds from their homes - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

7K acre Doce fire forces hundreds from their homes

Posted: Updated:
PRESCOTT, Ariz. -

The first big Arizona wildfire of 2013 has burned 7,000 acres northwest of Prescott, and is moving east towards subdivisions outside Prescott.

Mint Creek, American Ranch, Sundown Acres, Granite Basin and Old Stage Acres are under a mandatory evacuation -- that's about 300 homes. Residents affected received a reverse 911 call, and in addition, fire crews went door-to-door to make sure that everyone got the message. 

"It's very close. No doubt about it, it's a real natural disaster, there's a lot of chaos out there with the public at this time," says Jeff Andrews with the U.S. Forest Service.

Other subdivisions nearby are being advised to get ready for possible evacuation orders. Those areas include Williamson Valley corridor, Wildwood and Highland Pines.

During the day on Tuesday, a DC-10 air tanker dropped fire retardant on the mountainside, aided by some Chinook helicopters. There were about 300 firefighters on the ground who planned to work into the night.

Wind gusts up to 22 mph pushed the flames across a highway early Tuesday. Tuesday night, the winds shifted and headed eastbound, nearing Prescott. A number of roads have been closed.

Evacuees and their pets can take shelter at Yavapai College, located at 1100 E Sheldon Street in Prescott. Prescott Rodeo Grounds on 89A is taking in larger animals that cannot be taken at Yavapai College.

Seven evacuees took shelter at Yavapai College on Tuesday night. The Red Cross has set up 35 beds. The Red Cross is asking everyone who was evacuated to register at the shelter, even if they plan on staying with friends or if they have somewhere else to stay. 35 people are registered with the Red Cross.

The fire was human-caused and is under investigation. It was reported about 11:30 a.m. near Iron Springs Road and mile marker 8.

Tuesday was the 11-year anniversary of Rodeo-Chediski, the second largest wildfire in Arizona history. That fire burned nearly half a million acres and destroyed nearly 500 homes. It began as two separate blazes, in almost identical weather to what we're seeing today.

The Doce fire is 0 percent contained. No one has been injured and no structures have burned as of yet.

There is a red flag warning in effect for Yavapai County on Wednesday, which means much stronger winds and extreme fire danger.

Video: FOX 10's Diane Ryan, Mia Garcia, Anita Roman and Ty Brennan have team coverage. Press play.

For full coverage on Arizona wildfires, go to myfoxphoenix.com/wildfires

Doce fire updates: www.regionalinfo-alert.org

Check status of loved ones: www.redcross.org/safeandwell

Doce fire information number: 928-777-7552

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