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    Posted May 18, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Wildfires blazing near you

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    The Gladiator Fire Marches On


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     nleister says the raging fires in Arizona have destroyed three homes and continues to burn through acres of forest. 'There is certainly fear that winds could shift the fires back on Crown King,' he says. He says he learned from the local news that most of the Crown King's residents have been evacuated. He says for today, May 18, 2012, the sky in Phoenix is clear, which is different from the recent hazy, smoky overcast that lingered in the air earlier in the week. He describes the sky as having a reddish brown hue from the wildfires that continue to burn. 'From my vantage point I wasn’t directly under the plume of smoke, but when the breeze shifted you could certainly smell the fire burning through the woods again.' He says the smoke serves as a constant reminder of the hundreds of firefighters working to put out the flames.
    - Jareen, CNN iReport producer

    The Gladiator Fire continued to grow on Thursday, May 17 reaching an estimated 8,100 acres by nightfall. Warm, dry, and windy conditions fanned the blaze and pushed it towards the small community of Pine Flat. The nearby town of Crown King also remains under threat with evacuation orders still present at this hour.

    Conditions are not expected to improve on Friday due to forecasts of strong wind gusts and low humidity. Such conditions have prompted the arrival of 140 more firefighters on the scene.

    Containment stands at 5 percent as of Thursday night. Firefighters are optimistic about the status of Crown King but worry that the fire could quickly approach Bull Flat. Containment lines have been dug around Crown King in anticipation of a shift in the winds.

    Southeast of here, the Sunflower fire grew to roughly 14,500 acres and stands at 15 percent containment. 610 fire personnel are on the scene there.

    Tags: Gladiator_Fire Arizona
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