by Mike Sakal, Tribune
Chandler and Sun Lakes fire crews battled a blaze of about 70 palm trees that kept residents from an adjacent neighborhood away from their homes on Wednesday.
The fire, which started shortly before 5 p.m., on the southeast corner of Ocotillo and McQueen roads, covered two acres of a palm tree grove and was under control in about an hour, according to Paul Nies, battalion chief for the Chandler Fire Department. Two homes were evacuated.
Crews remained on the scene after 6 p.m. dousing hot spots, and investigators are trying to determine the cause of the blaze, Nies said.
Smoke could be seen from miles away as near 20-foot flames shot up from the blaze bordering the neighborhood near the Loop 202 and Cooper Road.
Nearby roads were closed going into the neighborhood, but the fire was never a danger to any the homes, according to Nies.
No injuries were reported.
"Our guys got on it quickly and kept it from spreading," Nies said.
Nies said determining the cause of the fire could prove difficult.
"Because it was an outside fire, you have no real burn patterns," Nies said. "You almost need witnesses who saw something or might have seen how it started to help determine how it started."
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