On Sunday afternoon, Coconino County Sheriff officials ordered the immediate evacuation of multiple communities in North-Central Arizona as nearby wildfire conditions remain dangerous. The blaze is threatening 500 homes in North-Central Arizona, leading to the communities being evacuated in the wildfire-affected areas. The communities in harm’s way, according to Coconino County, are east and west of Hwy 87 and include “Moquis Ranchettes, all Starlight Pines, all Clear Creek, all Timber Ranch, all Tamarron, Pine Canyon, Blue Ridge Estates, Ponderosa Pines and Mogollon Ranches.“
Additionally, those wishing to find out more information can call the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). The phone number is 928.679.8393. They are also accepting all animals at the Holbrook Navajo County Fairgrounds in Holbrook.
Arizona wildfires are currently blazing through the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, and the Fort Apache and San Carlos Indian Reservations. Officials determined that the fires started about 1 ½ miles northeast of Blue Ridge Reservoir. Since then, the Fire has burned “500 acres (202 hectares) about 9 miles (14.5 kilometers) east of Clints Well and near C.C. Cragin Reservoir on the Mogollon Rim,” Reports US News.
The resulting Arizona wildfires are burning as if they are fueled by gasoline. When, in truth, they are fueled by dry pine timber, brush, and grass. Several forest roadways have been closed, and drivers are being advised to avoid the area as the flames burn on. Authorities believe Arizona wildfires are human-caused, but the official cause is still under investigation.
As of Sunday afternoon, 63 percent of the Arizona wildfires are contained. Per the San Francisco Chronicle, Coconino National Forest officials indicated that a top-tier fire management team assumed command Saturday night. Emergency resource personnel assigned to contain the Arizona wildfires include firefighters and seven hotshot crews. Bulldozers, engines, and helicopters are being utilized by personnel to control the fire.
The National Wildfire Coordinating Group made the following announcement about the crew’s progress in containing the fire.
“Firefighters are making excellent progress improving the containment of the Rattlesnake Fire. Improving weather conditions allow for continued safe fireline construction along both the east and west flanks of the fire to the southeast. Hand crews are using firing operations to remove unburnt fuels from previously constructed firelines. Aerial ignition operations are being utilized to remove islands of unburned surface fuels within the interior of the fire. Contingency plans are in place to mitigate adverse smoke effects along the Highway 191 corridor to the east of the fire.”
Firefighters are also responding to reported Arizona wildfires near Mormon Lake in Flagstaff.
An area close to Flagstaff, Arizona recently had a brush with wildfire in March. According to ABC15, there was a wildfire that burned north of Flagstaff caused by a drone crashing in an area southeast of Kendrick Park. The owner was unable to put the fire out and it spread rapidly. In the aftermath, 335 acres were set ablaze. Firefighters were able to put out the wildfire, but the fire limited visibility on local roads and on U.S. Highway 180.