/ Modified may 29, 2012 11:24 a.m.

Crown King Residents Back Home; Fire Slows

Other AZ blazes at or near full containment; danger remains high

More than 300 Crown King residents, cabin owners and businesspeople returned to their properties overt the holiday weekend, rejoicing that the Gladiator Fire had done minimal damage in the small historic town north of Phoenix.

Officials said the Gladiator Fire had burned 16,240 acres and was 45 percent contained, with little expansion occurring in the last few days. It destroyed four structures.

Saturday and Sunday temperatures that were below normal helped keep the fire from spreading.

The fire, on state forest land and in the Prescott National Forest 40 miles northwest of Phoenix, started May 13 when a house in Crown King caught fire and flames spread to dry vegetation on nearby state forest land.

Other Arizona fires also showed little sign of doing further damage.

The Sunflower Fire in the Tonto National Forest near Payson was stable at 43 percent containment. It had burned an estimated 17,618 acres mostly in unoccupied wilderness areas, according to the Incident Information System website.

Despite cooler temperatures, much of Arizona remained under fire restrictions, including all state parks and recreational lands, several national forests and other federal lands.

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