- Associated Press - Thursday, April 27, 2017

MESA, Ariz. (AP) - Authorities say a brush fire on the Phoenix metro area’s eastern outskirts has grown but fire crews are making progress in containing it as they keep an eye on the weather for the expected return of windy conditions.

The fire is located four miles northeast of Mesa and as of Thursday has burned 500 acres of riparian river bottom since it started Tuesday.

Tonto National Forest officials say cleared lines or other barriers now cover 30 percent of the fire’s perimeter and that crews have been able to protect develop recreation sites while keeping the fire away from utility lines and housing areas.

The Bush Highway remains closed between Power and Usery Pass roads to allow firefighters to work along the highway, and several recreation areas are closed.

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