PRESCOTT, AZ - A 10-square-mile wildfire burning west of Prescott not only has forced the evacuation of hundreds from their homes but it has cost $3.39 million to fight so far, an official said.
That price tag to battle the Doce Fire in the Prescott National Forest, officials said, comes largely from air support used to help tame the blaze.
The fire, which is now 15 percent contained, prompted evacuation of hundreds of homes, and officials say it may be days until residents will be allowed to return. No structures have been damaged.
Fire managers will closely monitor weather conditions over the next several days as projected forecasts are expected to continue to be hot, dry, and windy.
The Prescott Daily Courier reports that Prescott Rodeo Grounds had been designated as the relief center for large animals affected by the raging inferno.
"We've checked in 12 horses, two miniature donkeys, and two goats," Spike Hicks, a volunteer with the Animal Disaster Services, said. "We had 16 horses, but four of them went back home."
Hicks and his wife, Carol, were among the evacuees from the wildfire that has been raging since Tuesday near Granite Mountain. With their home on Chipmunk Road being too close for comfort, the couple voluntarily decided Tuesday evening to pack up their three horses, a dog and a cat.
For the past several days, they have camped out in their RV right beside their animals.
The Doce Fire was human caused, but investigators said they haven't determined the exact source.
The fast-moving nature of the fire prompted Gov. Jan Brewer to issue an emergency declaration .
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