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Strong winds whip Eagle Rock Fire

By Daniel Kraker

Flagstaff, AZ – High winds Wednesday whipped the Eagle Rock fire burning 11 miles northeast of Williams to one thousand acres. The blaze forced the evacuation of about 60 homes. But Punky Moore, a public information officer for the Kaibab National Forest, says weather conditions today are forecast to be a lot more favorable. Winds are forecast to be only around 15 miles per hour.

" That will be advantageous for the aircraft to be able to fly and be effective. They were grounded yesterday, so hopefully we'll make some more progress today."

But Moore says winds are expected to pick up again.

MOORE2: "I do think this is just a little bit of a break, there's another front expected to come through this weekend. So we want to try and get as much work done today as we can."

The Eagle Rock Fire was first reported yesterday morning, and spread quickly as it was fanned by 40 mile per hour winds. Moore says the fire came very close to people's homes.

MOORE3: "We actually had fire on private property yesterday, I don't know exactly how close it got to the homes. There are no reports of any houses burned, although a couple outbuildings were burned."

A type 2 incident command team took over management of the fire this morning at six. About 250 firefighters are currently on scene. A Red Cross evacuation center has been set up at the Maine Consolidated School in Parks. Red Cross officials say eleven people checked in last night, although only one stayed the night.