May 26: An increase in the Gladiator Fire's containment and better weather is partly why residents are returning to Crown King and other nearby towns.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
CROWN KING, AZ - Crews have made some progress on containing a wildfire that had prompted the evacuation of a historic mining town in northern Arizona.
A Prescott National Forest spokeswoman said Monday the blaze outside Crown King is now 50 percent contained.
Officials say firefighters are spending the day patrolling the Gladiator Fire's perimeter, looking for any flare-ups or hazardous fuels. They say some smoke may be visible in neighboring communities.
Crews have re-opened County Road 59 going into Crown King to the public but say visitors should drive with caution.
The 350 residents of the community 85 miles north of Phoenix were allowed to return home last week after an initial evacuation.
The Gladiator Fire broke out May 13 inside a home and has charred more than 16,000 acres.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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