Wildland fire crews already stretched thin were diverted to battle a new brush fire that burned up to 600 acres north of Apache Junction by Wednesday night.

The Ghost fire, named after the nearby Goldfield Ghost Town and Mine, started in an off-road area at 3 p.m. and eventually jumped state Route 88 in a few places, prompting authorities to shut down the highway.

"There was no lightning, so it was probably human caused," said Vinnie Picard, fire information officer for Tonto National Forest.

A few people had to leave their home in the Goldfield Mountain area when it was threatened, but crews saved it. Only a power line was lost. The blaze grew to the north and northeast, away from Apache Junction, until its progress was stopped at 10 p.m., Picard said.

Fighting the fire were 12 engines, one hotshot crew, two hand crews, three helicopters, two heavy air tankers and two single-engine planes. Crews were expected to work through the night.

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