Saturday, April 13

Tunnel Fire near Flagstaff has burned over 20,000 acres, some evacuation orders will lift Sunday morning


Coconino County officials announced Saturday evening that residents in communities along Highway 89 will be allowed back in Sunday morning.

COCONINO COUNTY, Ariz — Fire crews are fighting the Tunnel Fire, burning 14 miles north of Flagstaff since April 17.

The fire has burned more than 21,164 acres as of Saturday morning. 

We are continuing to track the efforts to contain the blaze and will update the public on any new information as soon as it becomes available. Please check back often for the latest information.

Head to 12news.com/wildfires to get the latest information on all the fires burning around Arizona. 

Additional livestream: https://fb.watch/cA8Y7oVASN/

Posted by U.S. Forest Service – Coconino National Forest on Saturday, April 23, 2022

Coconino County officials announced that some residents along Highway 89 will be allowed back in beginning at 9 a.m. Sunday. This includes Timberline, Fernwood, Wutpatki Trails, Girls Ranch Road and Lenox Park. 

Residents are asked to report to the north parking lot of Silver Saddle Trading Post and bring identification to verify their address. 

EN ESPAÑOL: Incendio Tunnel cerca de Flagstaff consume 19,000 acres, 2,000 residentes evacuados

Here’s a breakdown of everything we know about the fire:

Latest fire updates

  • The fire is 3% contained as of Saturday morning
  • At least 100 structures have been destroyed, including 30 homes, authorities say
  • Around 700 homes are under evacuation orders, with around 2,000 residents evacuated
  • A Red Cross shelter has been set up at Sinagua Middle School
  • More than 370 firefighters are working the blaze
  • APS has taken lines out of service north of Flagstaff
  • Forest officials are warning drivers not to take Forest Road 244A to avoid the closure of US 89 because those roads are unsafe and blocked off.
  • Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument was “burned in its entirety”
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How many acres has it burned?

The Tunnel Fire has burned 21,164 acres and is 3% contained as of Saturday morning, fire officials said.

“Deputies have conducted preliminary evaluations of the area and estimate approximately 109 properties were impacted by the fire, including 30 residences that were burned and 24 properties with outbuildings destroyed,” Coconino County officials said Thursday night.

Firefighters are focusing on protecting residences and buildings near the danger area, Coconino National Forest officials said on Thursday.

Are there any evacuations?

Coconino County Emergency Management has set up a call center for evacuees at 928-679-8525.

The following communities are under the “GO” order and have been asked to evacuate:

  • North of Campbell Road to the Sunset Crater Road (FS 545) east and west of Hwy 89. This includes Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument and the areas around Moon Crater.

Officials said due to high winds, teams plan to keep all “GO” evacuations in place until Sunday morning, April 24.

The following communities are under the “SET” order and have been asked to prepare for possible evacuation:

  • Areas south of Campbell Road to Elden Springs Road east and west of Hwy 89, Antelope Hills, the areas north and east of Moon Crater to the Navajo Reservation. This includes Hutchison Acres, Anasazi Trails, and the north end of Doney Park
  • Areas along Highway 89. This includes neighborhoods of Timberline, Fernwood, Wutpatki Trails, Girls Ranch Road and Lenox Park. 

There are no communities under the “READY” order.

Go to the Arizona Emergency Information Network website to learn how the READY, SET, GO evacuation system works.

What roads or highways have been closed?

  • U.S. Highway 89 is closed from milepost 425 to 445.
  • Forest Road 544
  • The public is being asked to avoid Highway 89 from Elden Springs Road to the Coconino National Forest boundary.
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The Cinder Lake Landfill is also closed in Flagstaff due to the Tunnel Fire. The Hazardous Products Center at the landfill is also closed. People are advised to avoid the area.

Are there any shelters available for residents who may be evacuated?

A Red Cross Shelter has opened for residents evacuated due to the Tunnel Fire at Sinagua Middle School, 3950 E Butler Ave.

The Flagstaff Family Food Center announced it will also be providing food and water to people affected by the fire on Thursday from 12:30 p.m. through 3 p.m. at 2187 North Vickey Street.

What other assistance is available?

Northern Arizona University (NAU) announced Friday it will be donating $25,000 to the United Way of Northern Arizona Crisis Fund and $25,000 to the Lumberjack Emergency Assistance Fund.

NAU President José Luis Cruz Rivera also told any university students in immediate need of housing, meals or emergency funds to email [email protected].

Animals:

Coconino County is advising people to not take their household pets to High County Humane, which is now in SET status.

Instead, residents can take their household pets to the Coconino Humane Association located at 3501 East Butler Ave.

Horses, goats, sheep, pigs, and chickens can be taken to the Fort Tuthill County Stables at the County Fairgrounds. The stables are self-service and owners are responsible for all services related to their animals, including feeding and watering. Bring cages for smaller livestock.

Arizona Wildfire Season

Get the latest information on how to stay safe and protect your home during wildfire season in Arizona on our 12 News YouTube playlist here.

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Wildfire Go-Kit:

Residents in wildfire-prone areas are urged to have an emergency supplies kit to bring with them if they are evacuated from their homes, especially as Arizona residents are beginning to see early widespread fire activity throughout the state.

An emergency supply kit should be put together long before a wildfire or another disaster occurs. Make sure to keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you when you have to evacuate.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that residents near a disaster store emergency supplies in a plastic tub, small suitcase, trash can, backpack, or other containers.

Residents should make sure they have the necessities, such as three gallons of water per person and a three-day supply of ready-to-eat food, the NFPA said. A first-aid kit, prescription medications, contact lenses, and non-prescription drugs should also be taken into account.

Copies of any important family documents, including insurance policies, identification, bank account records, and emergency contact numbers should also be taken and put into a waterproof, portable container in your kit, the NFPA said.

The association lists other items that would help in a disaster, including:

  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and an NOAA weather radio to receive up-to-date information
  • Dust mask or cotton T-shirt to filter the air
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Complete change of clothing including long pants, long sleeve shirts, and sturdy shoes stored in a waterproof container
  • Signal flare

The entire NFPA checklist of supplies can be found here.

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