ARIZONA NEWS

Wind keeps pushing Tunnel Fire across northern Arizona wildland

Apr 21, 2022, 7:02 AM | Updated: 10:15 pm

PHOENIX – Hundreds of people northeast of Flagstaff remain evacuated from their homes as the Tunnel Fire pushed further forward by thousands of acres.

The wildfire grew to nearly 20,200 acres by late Thursday, according to InciWeb, as wind continued to whip flames across the area and away from northern Arizona’s largest city.

Coconino County officials said 30 structures have gone up in flames and 766 homes were evacuated. U.S. 89 remains closed in both directions between mileposts 425-445.

“The decision to get you back in is one that’s going to be made in conjunction with fire incident command,” Sheriff Jim Driscoll told residents at a community meeting Wednesday evening.

“We don’t make this on our own. When it is safe, we will have that discussion.”

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency Thursday to increase resources for dealing with the destructive blaze.

Residents around Flagstaff questioned how a small blaze reported northeast of the college town Sunday afternoon ballooned to such an extent by Wednesday afternoon.

Matt McGrath, a district ranger at Coconino National Forest, said firefighters had corralled the wildfire Sunday and didn’t see any smoke or active flames when they checked on it again Monday.

By Tuesday, the wind was firmly in control. Flames jumped the containment line, leaving firefighters and McGrath to ask themselves if they could have done something differently, he said.

“I can’t tell you for sure, but I don’t think so,” McGrath said. “And I know that’s not a satisfying answer when people are going through what they’re going through right now.”

Just over 370 personnel have been assigned to the fire.

A Type 1 Incident Management Team from the Pacific Northwest will take over fire operations Friday.

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Jim Cross and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Robert Hernandez (MCSO Mugshot)...
KTAR.com

Suspect arrested in fatal shooting near Interstate 17 in north Phoenix

A suspect was arrested Tuesday in the fatal shooting of a man in north Phoenix, authorities said.
1 day ago
Arizona Sen. Nancy Barto, R-Phoenix, left, speaks during a news conference after the Supreme Court ...
Associated Press

U.S. Supreme Court: Arizona can enforce genetic issue abortion ban

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday allowed enforcement of a 2021 Arizona law that lets prosecutors bring felony charges against doctors who knowingly terminate pregnancies solely because the fetuses have a genetic abnormality such as Down syndrome.
1 day ago
(File Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

Arizona Gov. Ducey signs bill directing $335M to build border fence

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey signed legislation Thursday that directs $335 million in state cash to construct virtual or physical fencing along the border with Mexico, part of a $564 million border security funding package that is the most ever spent by the state.
1 day ago
(KTAR News Photo/Luke Forstner)...
KTAR.com

Suspects in shooting of Phoenix officer indicted on first-degree murder charges

Two men accused of shooting a Phoenix police officer earlier this month have been indicted on three felony charges each, authorities said Thursday.
1 day ago
Protesters shout as they join thousands marching around the Arizona Capitol after the Supreme Court...
Kevin Stone

Proposed Arizona ballot initiative to ensure abortion rights running out of time

Proponents of a ballot initiative to amend Arizona’s constitution to guarantee abortion rights have a week left to gather enough signatures to put the issue before voters this year.
1 day ago
(AP Photo/John Locher)...
KTAR.com

Peoria joins other Valley cities in implementing first stage of drought management plan

Peoria on Wednesday became the latest Valley city to announce implementation of the first stage of its drought management plan.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Vaccines are safe if you are pregnant or breastfeeding

Are you pregnant? Do you have a friend or loved one who’s expecting?
...
Christina O’Haver

BE FAST to spot a stroke

Every 40 seconds—that’s how often someone has a stroke in the United States. It’s the fifth leading cause of death among Americans, with someone dying of a stroke every 3.5 minutes.
...
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

ADHS mobile program brings COVID-19 vaccines and boosters to Arizonans

The Arizona Department of Health Services and partner agencies are providing even more widespread availability by making COVID-19 vaccines available in neighborhoods through trusted community partners.
Wind keeps pushing Tunnel Fire across northern Arizona wildland