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Arizona Wildfire Comes Under Control

Firefighters continued battling a 1,000-acre wildfire Friday that came within three miles of downtown Prescott, Ariz. as some 1,500 people who had been evacuated began returning home.

Officials said the blaze that burned seven buildings this week was about 45 percent contained and no longer threatening any structures.

"Things are generally looking very good," said Stanton Florea, a Forest Service spokesman. "We have turned the corner."

Ron Beumer lives about three blocks from the burned homes. He returned to find his backyard charred to within a few feet of his house, which was stained by slurry and water dropped from aircraft.

"I can't believe it came so close and yet we came out unscathed," said Beumer, 71. "We're going to try to settle down again before cleaning up all this ash. I've got to get my emotions straight first."

The fire was first spotted Wednesday in a forest south of the city, about 90 miles north of Phoenix. Officials said they did not know when the fire would be fully contained. The blaze's cause remained unknown.

The fire was one of several burning throughout the drought-stricken state this week.

A wildfire north of Payson that had burned around 840 acres was expected to be contained Friday evening, said a spokeswoman for the Coconino National Forest.

A 5,300-acre wildfire that burned mainly grasslands in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge was fully contained, authorities said.

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