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FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Both blazes were moving through grass, brush and pine trees on the northern outskirts of Flagstaff, a mountainous city that's home to Northern Arizona University and the observatory where Pluto was discovered. It's also a popular respite from the sweltering desert heat.

“We stand with the Flagstaff community with our thoughts, prayers and resources. Through our unified efforts, strength, and prayers, we will persevere and get through this emergency situation. Our team will continue to assist the families and provide support. I thank Coconino County Supervisor Fowler and all of the emergency response team members for their support and assistance,” said Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez. 

The larger fire has burned more than 38 square miles (100 square kilometers) and was 27% contained Thursday, down slightly from a day earlier because of burnout operations, fire information office Mike Reichling said.

The smaller fire has burned more than 8 square miles (21 square kilometers) and was 11% contained.

The forecast calls for chances of showers and thunderstorms, which could help suppress the wildfires, starting Friday and throughout the weekend. Flooding and dry lightning also are concerns.

Some evacuation orders were still in place because of the wildfires, including for the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort.

Authorities have reopened one lane of U.S. Route 89, the primary route between northern Arizona, and the Navajo Nation up into Utah. Drivers also use it to get to the east rim of the Grand Canyon.

The largest wildfire in the U.S. is burning in northern New Mexico.