Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey issues emergency declaration for Tunnel Fire near Flagstaff
PHOENIX – Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency on Thursday to increase resources for dealing with the destructive Tunnel Fire near Flagstaff.
The declaration will provide resources to affected communities for response and recovery, according to a press release.
“Our prayers are with the residents affected by the fire and we encourage everyone in the area to follow the guidance of fire officials, stay safe and respond to any evacuation notices,” Ducey said in the release. “We will continue to monitor the situation and deploy additional resources as necessary.”
The Tunnel Fire has been burning through dry grass, brush and scattered pine about 14 miles northeast of Flagstaff since Sunday and had consumed more than 20,000 acres by Thursday morning.
The response so far includes 179 firefighters, four 20-person hand crews, four dozers, 21 engines, one air attack plane, three helicopters and additional air assets, according to the U.S. Forest Service.
A Type 1 Incident Management Team from the Pacific Northwest will take over operations Friday.
“As strong winds fuel fires across Arizona, we are doing everything we can to keep Arizonans safe,” Ducey said. “We pray for the safety of the responders and firefighters in Northern Arizona, and are thankful for their dedication to protecting the lives, pets and property of Arizonans.”
Evacuation orders have been in effect for the areas along U.S. Highway 89 from Campbell Road to Antelope Hills. The highway remains closed in both directions from mileposts 425 to 445, from Silver Saddle Road to Antelope Hills.
The fire has destroyed 30 structures and prompted the evacuation of 766 homes, according to Coconino County officials.
The public can get information about the fire by calling 928-679-8525.
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