Arizona wildfiresPosted: Updated:
TUCSON, Ariz. -- The monument fire still burning south of Sierra Vista, now nearly 60% contained.
It grew Wednesday about 1,000 acres thanks to some slightly more favorable weather for firefighters.
A series of controlled burns overnight helped widen containment lines and save several homes, that work continued Tuesday night in Carr and Garden Canyons.
The progress prompted Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever to lift evacuation orders today for many neighborhoods. He now predicts all evacuees could return by noon Friday at the latest.
Also Tuesday Southwest Gas today completed a first round of attempts to restore service in the Sierra Vista area.
Technicians left door tags with the number for customer service at all vacant homes.
In northeast Cochise County, the Horseshoe Two fire, almost completely surrounded.
Fire crews now have the blaze 95% contained after burning just under 223,000 acres.
It's been a brutal fight in the Chiricahua mountains, taking six weeks and costing more than $47 million with 23 structures destroyed.
The Wallow Fire in the White Mountains is also continuing to burn. At last check, fire crews had the largest wildfire in state history 58% contained at nearly 530,000 acres. That's about 828 square miles.
Some good news Wednesday, people who live in the town of Luna, New Mexico returned home Tuesday night after being forced to evacuate this week.
And the last stretch of highway 180 between Alpine, Arizona and New Mexico also reopened Tuesday.
There is also progress to report on two minor wildfires.
Containment doubled Wednesday on the now 315-acre Willow Fire burning. Between Payson and Heber-Overgaard to 20%.
And the El Camino fire south of Arivaca held steady at 618 acres while containment increased to 90%.