1,200-Acre Wildfire Jumps Colorado River From Arizona Into Needles Area, Prompting Evacuations

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A wildfire that started in Arizona has jumped the Colorado River into California and triggered mandatory evacuations for campers and residents near Park Moabi, authorities said Wednesday.

The San Bernardino County Fire Department tweeted this photo of the Pirate Fire, being called the Topock Fire in Arizona, on April 6, 2016.

The San Bernardino County Fire Department tweeted this photo of the Pirate Fire, being called the Topock Fire in Arizona, on April 6, 2016.

The fire was reported in Arizona early Wednesday and by 5:30 a.m., it had spread into the San Bernardino County Fire Department’s jurisdiction in Needles, said county fire Engineer Jeff Allen.

The fire had burned more than 500 acres, all but 50 on the Arizona side, and was 5% contained by the afternoon, officials said. Because the area is so remote, the closest crews had to wait hours for additional firefighters to help in the effort, which allowed the fire to spread virtually unchecked for its first couple of hours, Allen said.

Winds clocked at 10 mph to 15 mph pushed the fire north toward the Pirate’s Cove Resort and Park Moabi while heat in the 90s, low humidity and dense vegetation challenged firefighters, Allen said.

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