Evacuations lifted for Tunnel Fire near Flagstaff, Highway 89 reopened
PHOENIX — Evacuations for the Tunnel Fire near Flagstaff were lifted Sunday and Highway 89 was reopened as authorities determined the wildfire no longer posed a threat.
The fire located 14 miles northeast of Flagstaff had burned 21,164 acres as of Sunday morning and was 3% contained, fire management officials said.
Evacuation status for the neighborhoods associated with the fire was changed to “SET” at 9 a.m. as people were reminded that could change at any time based on fire behavior.
The fire forced the evacuation of 766 homes and has burned 30 homes and two dozen other structures since beginning a week ago, the Coconino Sheriff’s Office said.
A Type 1 Incident Management Team from the Pacific Northwest took over fire operations on Friday, with 366 personnel fighting the fire including nine crews, 19 engines, five dozers, one air attack plane and two helicopters.
Highway 89, which had been closed between Campbell Avenue and the Wupatki National Monument due to the fire, reopened at noon.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey declared the fire a state of emergency on Friday, a move that will provide response and recovery aid to affected communities.
Meanwhile, authorities said the Crooks Fire 10 miles south of Prescott was at 3,914 acres burned and 22% contained as of Sunday evening.
Evacuation orders remained in place for Breezy Pines, Potato Patch, Walker, Lookout Mountain, Kamp Kipa, Mountain Pine Acres and Mt. Tritle, while Groom Creek was in “SET” status.
Resources assigned to the fire include six Type 1 Hotshot crews, four Type 2 hand crews, 29 engines and 11 helicopters.
The cause of both wildfires has yet to be determined.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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