PUNKIN CENTER, Ariz. — A wildfire that has charred more than 65,000 acres in central Arizona jumped a highway where firefighters were hoping to contain it Friday, forcing the evacuation of the 15 homes in the rural community of Sunflower.
Another 350 homes near another side of the fire, including the subdivisions of Sleepy Hollow, Sycamore Creek, Mazatzal and Walnut Springs, were evacuated earlier, but residents were allowed to return Friday. The fire got as close as half a mile to that area, said Angela Goldman, a spokeswoman for the team fighting the fire.
No buildings had burned as of Friday evening.
Crews and engines were protecting structures in Sunflower, which is about 40 miles northeast of Phoenix and west of the fire. They were also burning away vegetation near the homes in Sunflower and the Punkin Center area, said Laura Prevatte, another fire spokeswoman.
Meanwhile, about 135 people evacuated their homes in Gunlock, Utah, on Friday after wind-swept flames traveled downhill toward their tiny desert town.
Air tankers were fighting the flames, and no houses were in immediate danger, Undersheriff Bart Bailey said.
"We call the evacuation mandatory," Bailey said. "That means we're warning you of the danger, but we're not bodily carrying anybody out."
Gunlock was hemmed by wildfires on two sides, weeks after escaping a brush with another blaze and months after being inundated by floods.
Elsewhere, residents of the village of Motoqua, in western Utah, returned to their homes Friday after the threat subsided from a wildfire that spread over 3,500 acres.
The blaze destroyed one home on a ranch, but 19 other structures nearby were not damaged, said David Boyd, a fire spokesman for the Bureau of Land Management.
No injuries were reported. The residents had left their homes voluntarily as the flames approached, Boyd said.