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5:04 AM Tue, Nov. 20th

Full containment on fires expected


(AP) – Firefighters were gaining on a 7,897-acre wildfire burning in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, making officials optimistic that the blaze could be fully contained this week.

The Three Forks Fire, burning southwest of this tiny eastern Arizona community, was 75 percent contained by Sunday night.

The blaze didn't grow on Sunday and burned mostly in its interior, said Dorman McGann, a spokesman for the crew fighting the fire.

If the fire continues to lay down and weather conditions cooperate, the blaze could be fully contained by Thursday, McGann said.

Fire managers have started releasing crews and engines from duty.

Officials closed a 107 square mile area next to the blaze because of fire danger.

Forest Roads 249, 88B and 285 are closed to traffic.

The fire, which was burning meadows, pine, spruce and fir trees, remained a little more than a mile from the area designated as the trigger point for evacuations.

But the fire has not moved any closer to Nutrioso since Thursday.

Fire officials believe the fire, which started Tuesday, was ignited by a camper.

The fire's origin was at a campsite in the middle of the woods rather than a designated campground.

Some camping gear was found in the area but authorities said they had no immediate suspects.

A fire has charred at least 40 acres of land on the Coronado National Forest and Fort Huachuca, a forest official said.

The Mud fire was reported around 8:20 a.m.

Saturday and forest officials were not sure of its origin.

By Sunday evening, firefighters had contained 80 percent of the blaze.

The fire was burning south of Sierra Vista near Fort Huachuca but no structures were threatened, said forest spokeswoman Marylee Peterson.