Containment grows on 2 disruptive wildfires in northern Arizona

Apr 27, 2022, 9:20 AM | Updated: 9:33 am

PHOENIX – Crews are gaining more control of two disruptive wildfires that have been burning for more than a week in northern Arizona, authorities said.

The Crooks Fire is still spreading to the south and west in Prescott National Forest, surpassing 8,000 acres burned, but containment increased to 20%, fire officials said Wednesday morning. The size was reported at around 6,500 acres with 16% containment the previous morning.

Meanwhile, the Tunnel Fire in Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff is holding steady at around 19,300 acres, with containment at 30%, up from 20% from the previous day.

The Tunnel Fire started about 14 miles northeast of Flagstaff on April 17. The cause remains under investigation. Officials previously said it had consumed more than 21,000 acres, but the size was adjusted downward after more accurate measurements were taken this week.

The Tunnel Fire’s footprint hasn’t changed since the weekend, and all related evacuations have been lifted.

The Crooks Fire started about 11 miles south of Prescott in Yavapai County on April 18, and the cause is undetermined. Evacuation orders – “GO” status of the emergency response system — remain in effect for South Walker, Breezy Pines, Potato Patch, Lookout Mountain, Kamp Kipa, Mountain Pine Acres and Mount Tritle.

A Crooks Fire community meeting has been scheduled for 6 p.m. Thursday in the hangar at Embry Riddle University in Prescott, 3700 Willow Creek Drive.

All Prescott National Forest sites in the Bradshaw Ranger District, Groom Creek and Lynx Lake recreation areas, and White Spar Campground are closed because of the fire, according to the Forest Service. Find the full forest closure list here.

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Containment grows on 2 disruptive wildfires in northern Arizona