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Judges get emergency powers due to Ariz. wildfire

Court officials in two eastern Arizona counties are being given emergency powers because of a major wildfire burning in that part of the state.

The order signed Tuesday by Arizona Supreme Court Chief Justice Rebecca White Berch cites the uncontrolled Wallow Fire and resulting evacuations.

The order empowers judges in Apache and Greenlee counties to suspend rules and orders “and to take any action concerning court operations that the circumstances require.” It also lets them modify orders on probation supervision.

Apache County Superior Court judicial assistant Rae Lynn Atencio (uh-TEN’-see-oh) says judges might have to issue orders to enforce mandatory evacuations.

And she says court operations are being affected because court personnel, probation officers and probationers are evacuating their homes.

Atencio says some court hearings are already being canceled.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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