YARNELL — A fire information officer says 19 firefighters are unaccounted for while battling the Yarnell Hill Fire in a central Arizona community.
Mike Reichling told the Arizona Republic that 20 firefighters were involved in a “serious incident.”
The newspaper reports that one of the firefighters has been located.
The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office has notified residents in the Peeples Valley area and in the town of Yarnell to evacuate.
Earlier Sunday, the fast-moving fire prompted evacuations of 50 homes in the Buckhorn, Model Creek and Double A Bar Ranch areas about 85 miles northwest of Phoenix.
In the afternoon, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office expanded the evacuations to include residents in the Peeples Valley area and in the town of Yarnell.
The wildfire also forced the closure of parts of state Route 89, the Arizona Department of Transportation announced. The department did not have an estimate of how long the closure would last but advised drivers to use U.S. 93 or Interstate 17 as alternate routes.
The Red Cross has opened a shelter at Yavapai College in Prescott, the sheriff’s office said.
The Yarnell Hill Fire now covers nearly 2,000 acres, according to the newspaper.
The fire started Friday but picked up momentum Sunday as the area experienced high temperatures, low humidity and windy conditions.
About two hundred firefighters are now working at the fire, but an additional 130 firefighters and more water- and retardant-dropping helicopters and aircraft are on their way.
In another Arizona fire, a 2-acre blaze that started at a motorcycle salvage yard and spread to a trailer park has destroyed five mobile homes in the Gila County community of Rye, located more than 130 miles east of Yarnell.
Gila County Health and Emergency Services Director Michael O’Driscoll said no one was injured in Rye.
The fire was ignited Saturday night at All Bikes Sales located off Highway 87. It spread to neighboring federal Forest Service land but was fully contained within 12 hours of its start.
The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Seven adults and two children were staying at a shelter set up for people who were evacuated, the Red Cross said.
- The bride's guide to feeling your best on your wedding day
- Deciding when you need knee surgery
- Celebrating Fourth of July is much cooler in these AZ towns
- Top ten road trip bathrooms in America
- Six things causing a pain in your neck
- 5 things to make your summer move easier
- Three elements of a strong timeshare exit guarantee
- Stretches and exercises for carpal tunnel syndrome
- The best Major League ballparks have their own personality
- Comparing the best regular seasons: The '96 Bulls and '16 Warriors
- 3 Arizona road trips and the vehicles to get you there
- Colon cancer is preventable. Check these signs and symptoms to stay healthy.
- 6 of the biggest skin cancer myths
- Affordable small home makeover ideas
- Locals helping locals: 6 success stories you need to know about
- Sunscreen facts that could save your life
- 6 energy saving hacks for your home
- 5 tips for choosing a company to end your timeshare
- Overlooked water tips to save you money
- 5 of the most adored gentlemen in professional sports today
- The real danger of sitting at your desk
- Most surprising NBA playoff performances of the last 40 years
- 11 classic baseball movies you must see again
- Finally getting rid of fat: 3 methods that actually work
- 4 reasons cancer survivors should focus on food
- 5 spring cleaning spots everyone forgets
- 5 reasons to look forward to watching the D-backs this season
- Common virus attributed to spike in head and neck cancers
- 5 signs it’s time to end your timeshare ownership
- 3 most overlooked ways to keep your home healthy