July 9, 1995 in Nation/World

Desert Brush Fire Nearly Contained

Compiled From Wire Services

Wind that had been driving a desert brush fire eased Saturday, allowing evacuees to return to luxury homes that had been threatened by the flames.

The fire got no closer than a few feet from any of the million-dollar homes, said Steve Springborn, a spokesman for the privately operated Rural-Metro Fire Department.

The fire burned across about 6,000 acres and areas still burning Saturday were mostly unpopulated, authorities said. More than 450 firefighters battled the flames, aided by four air tankers. Containment was not expected until at least tonight.

Lightning was believed to have started the fire Friday in the McDowell Mountains, and wind up to 40 mph drove the flames down onto the desert in the northern part of this city of 150,000 people on the east side of Phoenix.

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