Weekend wrap-up: Here are the biggest Arizona stories from June 17-19
PHOENIX – The Kitt Peak National Observatory and a nearby tribal community in southern Arizona have been evacuated because of an encroaching wildfire, the city of Phoenix has canceled its three July Fourth fireworks events this year, citing supply chain issues and the Phoenix City Council this week approved a plan that has a goal of 280,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030.
Here are some of the biggest stories that headlined the Arizona news cycle over the weekend.
The Kitt Peak National Observatory and a nearby tribal community in southern Arizona have been evacuated because of an encroaching wildfire, authorities said.
The observatory was evacuated Thursday, and the Pan Tak community on the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation was moved to “GO” status of the emergency response system on Friday.
The Contreras Fire was caused by lightning on a remote ridge of the Baboquivari Mountains about 60 miles southwest of Tucson on Saturday. It has doubled in size since Wednesday and was measured at 11,489 acres on Friday, with no containment.
Citing supply chain issues, the city of Phoenix has canceled its three July Fourth fireworks events this year, including the popular Fabulous Phoenix Fourth.
“Unfortunately, much like many other municipalities, Phoenix has been affected by the ongoing supply chain issues. The city’s contractor was unable to secure fireworks for the events,” Parks and Recreation Assistant Director Marty Whitfield said in a press release.
The Phoenix City Council this week approved a plan that has a goal of 280,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2030.
The Transportation Electrification Action Plan, which passed unanimously, puts forth various recommendations to reach that lofty goal.
“We know that in the city of Phoenix, the transportation sector, and in particular gas-powered vehicles, are the leading cause of greenhouse gas emissions and our poor air quality here in the Valley,” councilmember Yassamin Ansari, who served as chair of the committee that built the roadmap, told KTAR News 92.3 FM.
Following the first weekend of monsoon storms in Arizona, fire crews worked to reach more containment of wildfires burning across the state Sunday morning.
In northern Arizona, containment of the Pipeline fire located six miles north of Flagstaff reached 40%, up from 27% on Saturday, with the blaze consuming 26,476 acres, according to Inciweb.
The Haywire Fire located north of the Pipeline Fire has burned 5,563 acres and was 20% contained on Sunday, a 9% increase from Friday, officials said.
The FBI is seeking the public’s assistance in locating a suspect accused of a robbing a Glendale bank last year.
The man, described as a 6-foot male between 20 and 30 years old and weighing about 320 pounds, walked into the Bank of America branch near 59th and Glendale avenues at about 12:45 p.m. on July 7, 2021, and used a note to demand money from a teller.
Photos from the incident show the suspect wearing a gray hat, white mask, denim color long-sleeve button-up shirt, jeans and white shoes.
He also has a teardrop tattoo under his left eye and another tattoo on the back of his right hand.
Two people are dead after a plane crashed in Buckeye early Saturday, authorities said.
The plane was carrying two passengers, whose names have not been released, when it crashed just outside Buckeye Municipal Airport, the Buckeye Police Department said.
Initial reports said one person had died and another was in critical condition.
Buckeye Police later confirmed that two people died, two men identified as 56-year-old Daniel Keen and 32-year-old Emmanuel Flores.