Cedar Creek Fire grows to 5,500 acres near Show Low

A wind-whipped brush fire has now charred nearly four-square miles in eastern Arizona about 12 miles south of Show Low and Navajo County authorities have issued pre-evacuation notices for residents of five communities.

Bureau of Indian Affairs officials say the Cedar Creek Fire is moving in a northerly direction in rugged terrain, causing a huge plume of smoke.

They say the fire started around noon Wednesday and was at about 1,000 acres within three hours and then an estimated 5,500 acres by Thursday morning.

That's when Navajo County officials told residents in Show Low, Pinetop-Lakeside, McNary, Fort Apache and Hon-Dah to prepare for possible evacuation.

The cause of the fire isn't immediately known.