On Sunday, the Pipeline Fire sparked just a few miles from Flagstaff causing Some communities near Flagstaff to be evacuated as the wildfire grew to about 5,000 acres late Sunday.
The Pipeline Fire is just miles from where the Tunnel Fire burned nearly 20,000 acres back in April.
The initial report of fire came in at 10:15 a.m. located just 6 miles north of Flagstaff. Helicopters, air tankers and a hotshot crew began working immediately to contain the flames which grew quickly to more than 4,500 acres as the fire developed more than 15 miles due to strong winds as the day went on.
Authorities have arrested Matthew Riser, 57, a suspect in connection to the Pipeline Fire. He was charged with federal natural resource violations. Riser was reportedly seen leaving the scene of a fire near Snowbowl Road in a white pickup truck.
“The investigation into the cause of the Pipeline Fire is ongoing and, in order to protect the integrity of the investigation, we cannot discuss any details of the investigation,” said patrol Capt. Andy Pederson.
No cause of the fire has been made public. No homes or structures have been damaged yet.
As fire crews continue to battle the blaze, the National Weather Service has issued a red flag warning for area as sustained winds of 25-35 mph are expected with wind gusts of 40-50 mph.
The Arizona Department of Transportation has closed U.S. Route 89 at milepost 427, between Flagstaff and Cameron. There’s no estimated time of reopening.
The following Areas in GO status, with strict instruction to evacuate now:
- Areas of Schultz Pass Road
- Arizona Snowbowl
- Crater Estates (North of Forest Service Road 244, East of FS 545, North and West of Leupp Road and east to the Navajo Nation)
- Wupatki Trails
- Girls Ranch
- Neighborhood along Highway 89 North
The following areas on SET status, which means residents should be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice as there is potential danger in the area:
- Doney Park
- Elden Lookout
- Elden Estates
Officials are instruction all other communities in the area to be in READY status, meaning be prepared and monitor the situation.
A Red Cross Shelter has been set up at Sinagua Middle School, 3950 E Butler Ave, Flagstaff.
For household animals, you can take your pets to the Coconino Humane Association, 3501 E Butler Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86004.
For evacuees with horses, goats, sheep, pigs, and chickens, animals can be taken to the Fort Tuthill County Stables. Owners will be responsible for feeding and watering their livestock. Please bring water troughs and feed if able and bring cages for smaller livestock.
A Second Fire
Reports are coming in that firefighters are responding to another growing wildfire in the Coconino National Forest. The Haywire Fire started 4 miles east of Sunset Crater Volcano and has burned 1,600 acres so far. It was reported at 5:30 a.m. on Monday June 13.