Home Latest News Flagstaff wildfire forces evacuations, steadily growing

Flagstaff wildfire forces evacuations, steadily growing

FLAGSTAFF, Arizona — Evacuations are underway in parts of northern Arizona as a wildfire grew steadily about 9 miles north of Flagstaff on Sunday, authorities said.

Coconino National Forest officials said the pipeline fire was reported by a fire watch at 10:15 a.m. and had burned about 4,000-5,000 acres by the end of Sunday, spanning about 15 miles.

In connection with the fire, Forest Service police said they have arrested and charged a 57-year-old man with natural resource violations. The cause of the wildfire was not immediately known.

Coconino County Sheriff officials said the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort and people living in the western Schultz Pass Road area must evacuate. People living in Doney Park and the area near Mount Elden should be prepared.

Euelda King and her family evacuated their home for the second time this year due to wildfires. She hadn’t come back from a spring fire until she left again on Sunday, this time able to grab photos and clothes she hadn’t gotten before.

“Here we go again,” she said.

The family of 11 plans to stay at the Navajo Nation casino, which provides assistance to tribesmen who have been evacuated.

The family waited in a parking lot for road closure signs as they saw smoke rising through the sky and planes flying overhead.

“The wind is high and I think they’re going to have a little trouble with it,” King said.

Gusts of wind pushed the smoke through Schultz Pass toward Doney Park and authorities said holidaymakers were told to leave immediately, especially those in the Schultz Pass area.

The American Red Cross Arizona opened a shelter at Sinagua Middle School for residents who had been evacuated.

“Now that this thing is going so fast, it could be getting a lot closer, of course hoping not,” King said.

Authorities said 13 engines, nine crew members, six prevention patrol units, three bulldozers and one water tanker were involved in fighting the blaze. An Incident Management Team will arrive on Monday.

The Arizona Department of Transportation has closed U.S. Route 89. The department said in a Twitter post that there is no estimated time to reopen the road.

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