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Fire crews aim to contain 85 percent of Ariz. fire

By Felicia Fonseca

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, July 4 2013 5:00 p.m. MDT

An aerial tanker drops fire retardant on a wildfires threatening homes near Yarnell, Ariz., Monday, July 1, 2013. An elite crew of firefighters was overtaken by the out-of-control blaze on Sunday, killing 19 members as they tried to protect themselves from the flames under fire-resistant shields. (AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

Chris Carlson, Associated Press

PRESCOTT, Ariz. — Fire officials say they expect to have a deadly Arizona blaze up to 85 percent contained by Thursday night.

Operations section chief Carl Schwope of a multi-agency incident team says the blaze isn't actively burning and crews have been working to ensure any embers are out cold. It was 45 percent contained Thursday afternoon.

Yavapai County Sheriff Scott Mascher says Peeples Valley residents will be able to return home Thursday evening.

Mascher says only those who can show proof of residency will be allowed past a checkpoint.

Evacuation orders for Yarnell remain in place.

The Yarnell Hill Fire was sparked by lightning on June 28. Two days later, violent winds fed the fire and took the Granite Mountain Hotshots by surprise, killing 19 members of the elite crew.

The fire has burned more than 100 structures on about 13 square miles.

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