A wildfire threatening hundreds of homes and businesses spread to 3,000 acres early Monday in and around northern Arizona's scenic Oak Creek Canyon.
The fire started Sunday and spread quickly through the parched region, forcing the evacuation of about 400 homes and businesses in Oak Creek Canyon and about 100 homes in five subdivisions on the north side of Sedona.
With the temperature Monday expected to near 100 degrees with 10 to 20 mph wind, fire crews were positioned to protect homes and businesses in the area.
"It's going to be quite a fight not to lose them," said Kristy Bryner, a fire information officer.
Oak Creek Canyon, more than 90 miles north of Phoenix, is home to hotels, resorts, stores and houses scattered across the area. By Monday morning, the fire had burned to within a mile of some of the buildings.
Helge Zipprich, who lives in a mobile home in Oak Creek Canyon, said he and his three sons were in Sedona on Sunday and didn't have time to return home for any of their belongings. He said the worst part was not knowing what was happening.
"If the fire does spread and gets my home, I wouldn't know," he said.
The fire ignited in a wooded area and quickly led to the evacuations in the Sedona subdivisions of Cibola Hills, Rim Shadows, Painted Cliff, Shadow Rock Circle and Casa Contenta. Evacuations followed in Oak Creek Canyon, between Sedona and Flagstaff.
The cause of the fire was under investigation.
In southern Colorado, another wildfire grew to more than 400 acres early Monday, prompting officials to urge voluntary evacuations of the 246 homes in Forbes Park. The fire was reported shortly before noon on Sunday. No homes had been destroyed, and the cause of the fire was unknown.
Wildfires have burned more than 2.9 million acres nationwide this year, well ahead of the average of about 900,000 acres by this time of year, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Huge grass fires that swept Texas and Oklahoma this spring account for a large part of this year's high acreage.