PRESCOTT, AZ - Many residents displaced by an 11-square-mile wildfire that broke out Tuesday near the Prescott National Forest have been allowed to return home.
Officials from the Prescott National Forest said fire crews were able to make a lot of progress Saturday getting the Doce Fire under control. Crews were able to contain the fire at 40 percent by the afternoon, according to a press release.
Officials lifted evacuation orders at 5 p.m. for the Williamson Valley Road corridor, including American Ranch, Sundown Acres, Cielo Grande, Srazinski Road and Mint Creek Ranch. That includes a total of 435 homes.
As of 6:30 p.m. Williamson Valley Road was open to all vehicles, but only residents were being allowed into neighborhoods.
Residents will have to provide identification and proof of residency to get through the checkpoints.
For five days, Diane Oviedo watched the fire creep down the mountain, praying her home stayed safe.
She and her husband Mark left their home in Sundown Acres with their most valuable possessions, their horses, dog, photos and just a bag of clothes.
On Saturday they held their breath until they got to their home.
"When we drove down the road, through the road block, it was just like Christmas," Diane said. "It was like this giddy feeling you got."
Diane says she loves living near the mountains, but this time the fire came too close.
Evacuations remain in place for Granite Basin, Alto Recreation Area, Blackjack and Camp Anytown.
Crews are urging residents to remain "cautious" as the wildfire can still flare up, while producing significant amounts of heat, according to Prescott National Forest officials.
Firefighters are continuing to build lines on the west flank around the north end of the fire. The Prescott National Forest and Stage II fire restrictions remain in place.
A community meeting will be held Sunday, June 22 at 6 p.m. in the Prescott High School auditorium.
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