San Juan Fire not a threat to small town of Vernon, officials say

VERNON, AZ - Fire officials gave an update on the San Juan Fire Saturday evening to a standing-room only crowd at the Vernon Fire Department.

The crowd cheered when the meeting was opened with an announcement that the blaze is not currently a threat to the Town of Vernon.

Officials told the crowd that the fire started Thursday in a meadow on the Fort Apache Reservation. It has already burned 8 square miles.

The fire is human-caused and still under investigation; a specific cause has not been released.

Attendees learned that no structures have burned as a result of the fire, and fire crews are confident that the fire will not reach evacuated areas, including of Red Cabin Ranch, Whiting Homestead, and Carlock Ranch.

Up to another 90 structures in three communities could be threatened by the fire. The structures include homes, barns and sheds.

More than 500 firefighters are part of the effort, officials said.

The operations manager of the team fighting the fire told the crowd that over 4,000 acres have burned so far, and they expect that number to grow to approximately 5,000 acres once crews complete their prescribed burns.

Prescribed burns are ignited with the goal of reducing the available fuel, including dead grass and limbs, in a fire's path.

Officials did not report any injuries as a result of the blaze.

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