Fire crews in uphill battle with Carpenter 1 wildfire - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports

Fire crews in uphill battle with Carpenter 1 wildfire

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A firefighter caught this shot of the Carpenter 1 fire on Mt. Charleston. (Lindsay Curtis/FOX5) A firefighter caught this shot of the Carpenter 1 fire on Mt. Charleston. (Lindsay Curtis/FOX5)
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MT. CHARLESON (FOX5) -

Seven days after a lightning strike triggered the Carpenter 1 fire that is threatening more than 500 homes and structures on Mount Charleston, full containment is at least a week away.

The fire has grown to more than 15,000 acres, according to the U.S. Forest Service, with containment at just 15 percent.

Meanwhile, the smoke and ash billowing over the western part of the Valley can be seen for miles around.

"I'm from Chicago. I'm used to seeing it on TV, but to actually live here and to witness it is unbelievable," said resident Sally Salinas-Perez.

Salinas-Perez moved to the Valley last September. She lives near Interstate 95 and the Kyle Canyon cutoff.

"I've had ash go in my eye, in my hair. I mean, we live maybe five miles in back of here," she said.

Sunday's rain in the Valley never even reached Mount Charleston, according to fire officials.

The nearly 500 people displaced by the fire have been forced to live elsewhere as there is a mandatory evacuation order in place. Some, but not many, are making use of the Red Cross shelter set up at James Bilbray Elementary school.

The facility has everything from cots to food to amenities.

"We have caseworkers on call. We have people available to help them if they have pets that need to be placed," said Red Cross volunteer Cheri Collins.

On Monday, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) approved a request from Gov. Brian Sandoval for a Fire Management Assistance grant. That paves the way for the federal government to help pay for the costs of battling the blaze.

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