Arizona wildfire burning near forest grows to 162 acres
PHOENIX – A fast-moving wildfire burning less than 100 miles northwest of Phoenix could begin to slow down with rainfall Tuesday in Arizona.
The Mill Fire near Crown King ignited late Monday morning and had grown to 162 acres in less than 24 hours. Containment was zero percent.
The Bureau of Land Management said air tankers were dumping retardants to slow the fire’s progress in rough terrain. Helicopters were bringing firefighters to the remote area close to Prescott National Forest.
The founder of @10Tanker tells @KTAR923 2 of his big DC-10 firefighting air tankers flew 7 missions to the Mill Fire near Crown King Monday out of Gateway Airport in Mesa. Fire is officially at 162 acres according to @BLMAZFire with no containment but the area is getting rain now
— Jim Cross (@Crossfire923) May 7, 2019
#MillFire Update: Humidity and cooler temperatures have significantly reduced fire activity tonight. Firefighters have been flown out of the immediate fire area and will be flown in tomorrow. Interior heat and gusty winds a concern for tomorrow. #AZFire
— BLM Arizona Fire (@BLMAZFire) May 7, 2019
Showers began moving into the area early in the morning.
Radar loop shows showers and isolated thunderstorms circulating around a low pressure area in southwest Arizona this morning. Some thunderstorms will produce hail today. Be careful if hail covers the roadways. #azwx pic.twitter.com/dyfk9AIWJY
— NWS Flagstaff (@NWSFlagstaff) May 7, 2019
“Thunderstorms are really going to help firefighters gain the upper hand on the Mill Fires,” bureau spokeswoman Dolores Garcia told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
Several hotshot crews were working the blaze. No structures were near enough to catch fire for now but there were active mining sites in the area, Garcia said.
A Type 3 incident management team would be responsible for developing a strategy for the firefighters.
Type 3 incidents command teams “manage initial attack fires with a significant number of resources, an extended attack fire until containment/control is achieved, or an escaped fire until a Type 1 or 2 team assumes command,” according to an interagency government website.
The rain was going to be “a critical factor,” Garcia said.
Precipitation will determine personnel numbers, 121 were on hand already, equipment needs and how they all would be used.
KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross contributed to this report.