Communities in northeastern Arizona evacuated for 8600-acre Tinder Fire


COCONINO COUNTY, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office has ordered the evacuations of some communities in northeastern Arizona due to the Tinder Fire, which has now burned over 8,600 acres. 

According to CCSO, evacuations have been ordered for all Moqui Ranchettes, Starlight Pines, Clear Creek (except 1 and 2), all of Tamerron, Ponderosa Pines, Timber Ranch, Blue Ridge Estates, Mongollon Ranches and Pine Canyon.

[READ MORE: ‘Tinder Fire’ burning northeast of Strawberry]

The Coconino County Board of Supervisors also declared a state of emergency due to the fire being close to homes and buildings.

A shelter has been set up at for people and smaller animals at Twin Arrows Casino and a large animal shelter has been opened at Holbrook Navajo County Fairgrounds.

The Tinder Fire was discovered Friday morning and is burning northeast of Strawberry, about nine miles east of Clint’s Well.

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona Wildfires]

As of Monday morning, the Tinder Fire has burned about 8,623 acres and there is a zero percent containment. 

Firefighters said structures were lost but didn’t have any other details. The Coconino County will assess damages and provide updates.

According to Coconino County officials, the fire will continue to move to the northeast, moving rapidly through the Ponderosa Pine.

County officials say that once the fire reaches the Pinyon and Juniper area, they expect to see a reduction in fire behavior through less continuous fuels.

There are over 500 firefighters working this fire including seven hotshot crews. 

Residents in the area can sign up for Coconino County’s Emergency Alerts for updates on the fire. 

State Route 87 is closed in both directions about 30 miles south of Winslow for a brush fire, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. There is no estimated time to reopen the highway near Clints Well between mileposts 290 to 312. 

Strong winds are fanning the flames of the Tinder Fire and those winds are expected to continue through Tuesday, firefighters said.

Smoke from the fire is also impacting nearby Winslow.

Since firefighters are battling the flames and trying to gain containment, there is a temporary flight restriction on drones in the area. Firefighters said somebody was operating a drone on Sunday morning, north of the fire. There were no serious impact on the firefighting efforts but crews want people to know that flying drones near wildfires is illegal.

Coconino County health officials are encouraging residents in the area to take precautions to protect themselves from the smoke.

County officials added that anyone with pre-existing conditions should avoid exposure to the smoke as much as possible and consult their physician if they have any issues.

Evacuees needing evacuation information can call the County Call Center at 928-679-8393.

The fire incident team is working on details for a community meeting about the fire.

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