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(Herberta Schroeder Photo)

KINGMAN, Ariz. -- Three helicopters spent the Fourth of July holiday dropping buckets of water on a wildfire in the mountains outside of Kingman as some 460 firefighters began to get a handle on the lightning-sparked blaze.

The Dean Peak Fire grew to more than 8.1 square miles Thursday but containment of the blaze rose from zero to 25 percent.

Officials said a lightning strike 10 miles southeast of Kingman sparked the blaze June 29. About 350 homes in the Pinion Pines and Pine Lake communities remain under mandatory evacuation orders.

Authorities said early Thursday that they had been able to keep two neighborhoods safe in the Hualapai Mountains as flames consume mostly brush, juniper, pines and pinion.

Crews expect to have the blaze fully contained by July 12.

Associated Press,

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