Evacuation orders lifted for Scottsdale-area residents near Diamond Fire

Jun 28, 2023, 7:20 AM | Updated: Jun 29, 2023, 7:02 pm

PHOENIX – With the situation deemed safe, evacuation orders for Scottsdale-area residents near the Diamond Fire were lifted Wednesday evening.

The evacuation was ordered Tuesday night while the blaze spread quickly through dry brush and grass after igniting in northeast Scottsdale.

Crews working overnight successfully stopped the flames from advancing by Wednesday morning.

“A hotshot crew along with two state hand crews were able to get around the entire fire. So they have line in, and they’re working right now just to make sure that line is secure,” Tiffany Davila of the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management said during a Wednesday morning press conference.

The lines laid by crews around the fire Tuesday held up Wednesday. Pockets of fuel remained within the perimeter, leading to a few flare-ups throughout the day.

“There are Red Flag Warnings. … So we just want to remind folks that even though they don’t see smoke now, as we start to warm up, as we start to get in that critical fire weather timeframe, we could likely start to see that fire activity increase with flames visible and smoke,” she said.

How large is the Diamond Fire?

The Diamond Fire was estimated to have burned through about 2,500 acres of dry grass and brush Tuesday night. After more precise mapping was conducted Wednesday, the size was determined to be 1,960 acres, with 60% containment.

Investigators are working to determine how the fire started, but the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management said it was human-caused.

Firefighters turned their focus Wednesday to mop up and structure protection.

“The crews made excellent progress, and right now things are looking pretty good,” Davila said.

One secondary structure was destroyed Tuesday, but no detailed damage assessment was completed, Davila said.

When, where did the Diamond Fire start?

The Diamond Fire was first reported around 5 p.m. Tuesday on 5 acres near 128th Street and Ranch Gate Road, northwest of the McDowell Mountain Regional Park.

Wind drove the flames east onto county, state and private land. Command was turned over from the Scottsdale Fire Department to the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management

Davila said about 300 personnel were assigned to the incident.

About 100 homes were evacuated Tuesday evening, impacting about 1,145 people. The evacuation zone was bordered by Rio Verde Road on the north, Jomax Road on the south, 130th Street on the west and 160th Street on the east.

The evacuation orders were lifted around 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

McDowell Mountain Regional Park was closed to all traffic and visitors. Scottsdale’s Fraesfield and Tom’s Thumb trailheads were also closed.

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Evacuation orders lifted for Scottsdale-area residents near Diamond Fire