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Refuge Fire: The latest on the Arizona wildfire near the California border

5/29: Endangered fish species threatened

A fire on the Arizona-California border north of Yuma is threatening endangered species of fish.

Refuge Fire spokesperson Tom Reichling says the crews have been at a disadvantage as they can’t use fire retardant or too much water due to its environmental impact.

"We can’t get in and get all those hot spots that take millions of gallons of water to get it all completely out. So, we have to let it burn and surround it and make sure the fire doesn’t get out of that containment," Reichling said.

As of Tuesday night, it has burned over 1,000 acres and was about 20% contained.

5/27: Yuma man arrested on suspicion of starting wildfire

A Yuma man has been arrested for allegedly causing a wildfire in northwest Yuma County. 

The Refuge Fire is 20% contained. It has burned across more than 1,200 acres. The wildfire was first reported on Saturday afternoon in the Imperial National Wildlife Refuge.

Later that night, the Yuma County Sheriff’s office announced that 47-year-old Jason Bradley Martin was arrested and remains jailed on suspicion of arson, criminal damage and other charges.

Meanwhile, spokesperson Mike Reichling reports that no private properties are damaged. He said Monday that he expects the fire containment will expand by Monday evening. 

“The initial crews here Saturday did a good job of keeping the fire away from the resident’s properties here, and kept them on the federal property,” Reichling said.

He added that the fire did encroach a bit onto the U.S. Army’s Yuma Proving Ground.

More stories from KJZZ

Camryn Sanchez is a field correspondent at KJZZ covering everything to do with state politics.