Man arrested after Flagstaff area wildfire forced resident evacuation

Apr 9, 2018, 12:01 PM | Updated: 12:03 pm
(Photo from @AZStateForestry Twitter)...
(Photo from @AZStateForestry Twitter)
(Photo from @AZStateForestry Twitter)

PHOENIX — An arrest had been made on Monday after a fast-moving wildfire forced residents in a small community east of Flagstaff to evacuate over the weekend.

The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday that 54-year-old Steve Carter was arrested in relation to the blaze.

Carter told law enforcement that he was burning yard debris when the fire got away from him and “grew out of control.”

He was booked into a local detention facility on three counts of felony endangerment, one count of misdemeanor reckless burning and one count of felony criminal damage.

Arizona State Forestry officials said the human-caused fire had burned 86 acres and destroyed at least one residence in Winona, a community about 16 miles east of Flagstaff, on Sunday.

The fire broke out around noon on Sunday and was put out around 8 p.m.

At that time, the majority of the damage was done to brush. No people were injured.

Officials with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office and county Emergency Management evacuated an area near Copley east of Leupp Road, according to the Coconino County Facebook page.

That was the first place wildfire was reported.

Authorities said earlier that crews had pushed the growing blaze back against the cinder hills in the area and the chance for quick containment was looking good.

Nine crews from Summit Fire, Flagstaff Fire and the U.S. Forest Service fire department were on the scene.

As of 4 p.m. Sunday, no more evacuations had been ordered. However, the Coconino County Facebook page warned conditions could change and to be prepared.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Man arrested after Flagstaff area wildfire forced resident evacuation