Most evacuations lifted for Pipeline Fire near Flagstaff
PHOENIX – The Pipeline Fire in northern Arizona was 31% contained as of Wednesday morning, and most of the related evacuations were lifted, but containment decreased to 27% in the evening, officials said.
The wildfire about 6 miles north of Flagstaff was measured at 22,888 acres after it grew less than 3,000 acres from the previous morning’s measurement. Tuesday was much calmer after the blaze, which started Sunday, rapidly spread on Monday from about 5,000 acres to more than 20,000.
The nearby Haywire Fire was at 5,065 acres with 11% containment as of Wednesday evening.
The active fires are burning near where the Tunnel Fire consumed just over 19,000 acres in the spring.
— Coconino NF (@CoconinoNF) June 15, 2022
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office allowed more areas of the Timberline Community to repopulate Wednesday morning.
More streets were moved back to “SET” status on Wednesday afternoon: Glodia Drive, Alice Drive, Saddle Avenue, Pinon Street, El Oro Drive, N. Siesta Lane, E. Paintbrush Lane, Copeland Lane west of Rope Arabian Road, N. Copeland Lane, Tanager Drive, Barn Road, Peaceful Way and Weed Lane.
After consultation with the US Forest Service and the Summit Fire and Medical Department, the @CoconinoSheriff is now allowing re-entry into additional neighborhoods and businesses in the Timberline Community. MAP: https://t.co/ZsBOjMBh8s pic.twitter.com/m5fgbcQD9W
— Coconino County (@CoconinoCounty) June 15, 2022
The only areas in “GO” status are Highway 89 north of Wupatki Trails to Sacred Mountain Trading Post, Moon Crater, and Alpine Ranchos
More than 2,500 homes had been evacuated at some point after the Pipeline Fire ignited on Sunday, with one home and a secondary structured burned.
Shelters were opened at the Twin Arrows Casino Resort and Sinagua Middle School. Anybody seeking information about the fire situation can contact the Coconino County Fire Call Center at 928-679-8525.
Most of the Coconino National Forest north of Interstate 40 remains off-limits.
Portions of U.S. Highway 89 north of Flagstaff reopened Wednesday evening. The highway was open in both directions from mileposts 426 to 433, but the left lane remained blocked. U.S. 89 remained closed in both directions from mileposts 433 to 445.
Authorities arrested Matthew Riser, 57, in connection to the Pipeline Fire. He allegedly told them he burned toilet paper around noon on Saturday and placed it under a rock several feet from a National Forest System Road.
Officials believe a lightning strike sparked the Haywire Fire, which was first reported Monday and now includes two merged incidents, along with the Double Fire.
As of Wednesday, a combined 670 personnel with eight helicopters and one fixed-wing aircraft were working on the Pipeline and Haywire fires.