The growth of a wildfire burning in east-central Arizona's high country slowed overnight but thousands of Show Low-area residents remain under pre-evacuation advisories.
According to the US Forest Service, the Cedar Creek Fire has scorched a total of 8,000 acres of brush and timber in rugged terrain about nine miles from Show Low.
Navajo County says 5,500 acres are currently burning, with several thousand acres of burned making it 8,000 acres in total size.
Navajo County spokesman Adam Wolfe says several homes housing a dozen people were evacuated. No structures have been lost as of Thursday morning.
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"Today is a pivotal day," an official said. "If we get through today, we'll be alright."
Wolfe says winds diminished overnight, helping firefighting efforts. Aircraft are dropping retardant and water. Good progress was made on the eastern flank, according to a Thursday press conference.
The fire was reported midday Wednesday and it rapidly grew to throw up a huge plume of smoke.
County officials told residents in Show Low, Pinetop-Lakeside and three other communities to prepare for possible evacuations, but Wolfe says Show Low's west side is the area that likely would affected initially if evacuations are necessary.
If anyone wants to voluntarily evacuate and want to check in they can do that at Show Low PD
— Navajo County (@NavajoCountyAZ) June 16, 2016
In the event of an evacuation, officials say special green cards can be placed on your doors to signal that your home is empty.
The Red Cross has opened Snowflake High School, located at N. 2nd Street West, for evacuees. They are providing food, water and a safe place to stay.
Another shelter is being set up at Round Valley Middle School in Eagar. As of 10 a.m., it is not yet open.
Livestock from evacuated properties will be staged at the Navajo County Fairgrounds in Holbrook. House pets and small animals should be taken to the Humane Society, which will stage at Snowflake High School.
Secondary animal shelters are Springerville Rodeo grounds for livestock and Round Valley Middle School in Eager for small animals.
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Anyone needing assistance evacuating should call the non-emergency number of their local police department.
Information regarding the fire can be found by calling 311 or visiting 311info.net. Navajo County social media is also providing updates.
Another official update is set for Thursday at 4 p.m.