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Arizona Mountain Fire Spreads

March 6, 2002

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) _ Gusty winds and low humidity spread a fire over steep, rugged slopes in southeastern Arizona’s Huachuca Mountains despite a growing contingent of firefighters and aircraft.

The fire, worsened by a lack of rain or snow, has caused no injuries and wasn’t threatening homes or other structures, said U.S. Forest Service spokeswoman Joan Vasey.

Three helicopters and two air tankers joined firefighters battling the blaze, which grew to 935 acres by late Tuesday. Officials determined it probably started Friday, likely spreading from an abandoned campfire.

One road and 10 mountain trails were closed, as was the Ramsey Canyon Preserve.

About 200 firefighters and support staff, some from Tennessee and North Carolina, fought to keep the blaze from approaching scenic Ramsey Canyon, where some homes are tucked into the forest.

Vasey said firefighters were told to build clear safety zones where they can escape the fire if it gets out of control.

``With the erratic winds we have right now, and the type of terrain firefighters are in, they’ve got to be really careful,″ Vasey said.