FLAGSTAFF, AZ — Residents ordered to evacuate more than two dozen homes because of an Arizona wildfire can return.
Those living along Elden Lookout Road were evacuated Monday afternoon in part to allow firefighters better access to burn out grass and other fuels in an effort to prevent the fire from entering the area, the Coconino County Sheriff's Office said.
Forest officials say the fire is reported to be 1,961 acres in size and 91 percent contained.
City, county and state disaster declarations are in effect, moves which free up additional funding to respond to the fire and makes the jurisdictions eligible to request additional funds from the state.
EVAC LIFTED: Tons of people who left Mount Elden Lookout waiting to get back home. Everyone forced out Monday after the #MuseumFire got too close. A sense of relief for many- one woman telling us “I get to sleep in my bed again!” #ABC15 pic.twitter.com/63TIJtYbTA— Nicole Valdes (@NicoleValdesTV) July 24, 2019
The Mount Elden Road residents would remain on 'Set' evacuation status, the middle of the county's three-tier evacuation system.
The American Red Cross has set up a shelter at Sinagua Middle School (3950 E Butler Ave, Flagstaff, AZ 86004).
SHELTER OPEN- Emergency Managers in Coconino County have requested a Red Cross Shelter open to support those affected by the Museum Fire North of Flagstaff.— Red Cross AZ, NM, El Paso TX (@AmRedCrossSW) July 21, 2019
Shelter is open at Sinaqua Middle School. 3950 E. Butler Ave. Flagstaff 86004#museumfire #shelter #wildfire
"Smoke will be visible from Flagstaff and other local communities," officials say.
"The public should use extreme caution when driving on U.S. Highways 180 and 89 north of Flagstaff as firefighting vehicles will be responding to the area north of Flagstaff."
A Type 1 Incident Management team is now in command of the response to the Museum Fire.
There are no closures at this time, according to Coconino National Forest officials. Five hundred firefighters, including ground crews, fire engines and aircraft are working to contain the flames.
Coconino County says the fire is believed to be human caused. No other details on how it started have been released.
A call center (928-213-2990) has been set up for people with questions.
Residents are also encouraged to sign-up for emergency notifications for evacuation and other notices at coconino.az.gov/ready.