A wildfire in western Arizona has prompted the evacuation of thousands of homes and businesses.
The fire, which broke out in Tempe on Friday, is threatening several counties and the area is now under mandatory evacuation orders.
Tempe Mayor Tom Tocqueville said the evacuation order was lifted Saturday.
The area is being watched closely by firefighters, Tocqualville said.
“We are extremely concerned, especially after the recent heat wave and the recent fire that we have had, and we need to do what we can to ensure that everyone can be safely evacuated and get out of harm’s way as quickly as possible,” Tocqerville said.
Temple Fire Chief John Stinson said his department is planning to take all necessary precautions to protect the public and the fire is still active.
Temporary shelters have been established at the University of Arizona, University of Phoenix Medical Center, Tucson Regional Medical Center and other local medical facilities, the city said in a tweet.
A Tempe Police Department helicopter spotted the blaze around 5 p.m.
Friday in a forest near the city.
Tempe police Lt.
Jim Martin said the helicopter circled the area about 100 feet from the blaze.
The cause of the fire has not been determined.
Temperatures have dropped to below zero in the fire’s firefighting zone, and the blaze is expected to continue burning through the weekend, according to the National Weather Service.
Temporarily closed schools and businesses are being advised to be prepared.
Templar County Commissioner John Davenport said in the tweet that Tempe Fire Department is in communication with local fire departments and local authorities to determine the best approach to contain the fire.
“Tempe will be open during this firestorm,” Davenson wrote.
The Tempe area is home to more than 200,000 people, and its main artery, Interstate 10, is closed due to the fire, according.