Water Wheel fire evacuees hoping for good news today

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PAYSON -- While hundreds of residents who were forced to evacuate when a wildfire threatened their homes were allowed to return Monday night, others were still waiting for the green light.

Water Wheel fire

Crews racing to get upper hand on Water Wheel Fire - A wildfire burning in the Tonto National Forest north of Payson has grown to 500 acres.

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The Beaver Valley subdivision was opened up to residents at 9 p.m., but fire officials say those living in the Whispering Pines subdivision will have to wait.

The announcement prompted applause from residents who gathered at Payson High School for a community meeting. The school was set up as an evacuation shelter.

The fire that started Sunday has charred more than 770 acres in the Tonto National Forest. No injuries have been reported.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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