CAVE CREEK, AZ — Fire officials say multiple homes were evacuated after the human-caused "East Desert Fire" ignited approximately four miles north of Cave Creek Regional Park on the afternoon of May 17.
EAST DESERT FIRE FAST FACTS:
Location: Near Cave Creek
Size: 1,492 acres
Cause: Human, under investigation
EVACS LIFTED. At 6 pm, evacuations due to the #EastDesertFire will be lifted. Please use caution when you re-enter as crews continue to work & trucks travel up and down the roadways. #AZFire #AZForestry @CaveCreek_AZ @MaricopaEmerg— AZ State Forestry (@azstateforestry) May 20, 2020
Firefighters say strong winds fueled the fire through dry grass and brush.
The fire moved east-northeast toward Cahava Springs in Cave Creek, threatening multiple structures.
An additional six hotshot crews, 10 engines, and aircraft were called in to help fight the fire, according to Arizona State Forestry officials.
The brush fire burned a motor-home and shed, and crews say at least four homes nearby were temporarily evacuated Sunday afternoon. Officials say the fire flared up later Sunday night causing more evacuations.
Resident Enrique Murray thought for sure he and the nearly 40 animals he cares for would be forced out of their homes.
"It's surreal. I still don't even believe that it was like happening, you know what I mean? Those planes are coming right over."
Thankfully, the fire changed direction keeping Murray and his animals out of harm's way.
"I'm happy right now that my horses got to stay on the property. No one got hurt. Everyone is safe."
Others in the area tell ABC15 they are concerned with how much fire activity they've seen so far this year.
"In the last couple of years, particularly with all the rain that we had and all the vegetation grew and then everything dried out, so yeah these brush fires have been happening literally just this summer. We've already had like four or five big ones just around this immediate area," said Matt Sharp, who lives nearby.