Raging brush fire forces evacuations in Mohave Valley - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi


Raging brush fire forces evacuations in Mohave Valley

(Source: Bureau of Land Management via @BLMAZFire on Twitter) (Source: Bureau of Land Management via @BLMAZFire on Twitter)
(Source: Chip R Venezio via JustSayNews.com and Facebook) (Source: Chip R Venezio via JustSayNews.com and Facebook)
View from Needles, CA (Source: Jayme Lagodzinski) View from Needles, CA (Source: Jayme Lagodzinski)
Golden Valley (Source: Crystalene Ware) Golden Valley (Source: Crystalene Ware)
View of the Willow Fire. (Source: Mohave County Division of Emergency Management) View of the Willow Fire. (Source: Mohave County Division of Emergency Management)
MOHAVE VALLEY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

A raging brush fire has emergency crews evacuating 150 homes in Mohave Valley, which is south of Bullhead City in Mohave County.

The evacuation affects homes along Courtright Road in the Delta City and Topock Lake Rancheros subdivisions, according to JustSayNews.com. The evacuation order for an estimated 450 residents south of Laguna Road and east of Vanderslice Road is mandatory.

The massive smoke plume from the Willow Fire, which is burning on the Havasu Wildlife Refuge north of Interstate 40, is visible for miles and even showed up on weather radar systems.

SLIDESHOW: Photos of the Willow Fire

Based on an aerial survey, the Willow Fire is estimated to be about 2,000 acres in size. Strong gusty winds of up to 25 mph could be an issue for crews on the fire lines.

The Bureau of Land Management is assisting with the fire. A Type 2 Incident Management Team has been requested and is scheduled to hold a briefing Sunday at 3 p.m.

About 20 engines are on scene already, and five crews are en route. Bulldozers are creating a fire line. According to BLM, those dozers are making "good progress on containment." The agency said several "existing area of minimal vegetation" are acting as "natural fuel breaks."

BLM tweeted a couple of aerial photos of the fire, saying that the aviation supervisor on the incident observed very active fire behavior, including 75-foot flames.

According to BLM, salt cedar, willows, grass and brush are fueling the flames.

First responders are directing residents to a Red Cross shelter at Mohave Valley Elementary School, 1419 E. Willow Drive, in Mohave County.

It is not clear what sparked the fire.

Information will be updated as it becomes available. Refresh this story for the latest details.

Mohave Valley is more than 3.5 hours northwest of Phoenix, just east of the Arizona-California border and north of I-40.

Copyright 2015 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

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