Wildfire outside Williams now at 10,000 acres

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WILLIAMS -- A lightning-caused wildfire that has been burning northeast of Williams since early August has now consumed nearly 10,000 acres.

The fire in the Kaibab National Forest is not being actively fought, but is being managed much like a prescribed burn to clear out forest undergrowth and improve forest health.

The fire is burning in mixed ponderosa pine, juniper and brush about 15 miles northeast of Williams. Forest Service officials said Friday that it could burn as many as 18,000 acres if not suppressed.

Eight firefighters and a helicopter are assigned to keep the fire from burning outside established boundaries.

The fire was ignited on Aug. 7 and grew to 700 acres before monsoon rains mostly extinguished the blaze. The fire began growing again on Oct. 15.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)