HAPPY JACK, AZ - The Tinder Fire continues to burn near the Blue Ridge Reservoir in northern Arizona and has grown to nearly 16,000 acres. The fire's now 79 percent contained, with evacuated residents let back into their homes Friday.
According to Coconino County officials, evacuations were ordered Sunday by the Coconino County Sheriff's Office for affected communities north, east and west of Highway 87, including Moqui Ranchettes, all of Starlight Pines, Clear Creek (except 1 and 2), all of Timber Ranch, all of Tamarron, Pine Canyon, Blue Ridge Estates, Ponderosa Pines, and Mogollon Ranches.
It is estimated that 600 people were evacuated from the 1,000 homes in the impacted area.
Residents with questions on the evacuations are asked to call the Coconino Call Center at 928-679-8393 or 928-213-2990.
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is expected to allow residents evacuated by the Tinder Fire to return to their properties in a scheduled, staged re-entry on Friday, May 4.
Returning residents will be required to show identification to law enforcement officials before being allowed beyond the staffed checkpoints north and south of Blue Ridge. If the address on the ID does not match the property address, then residents will be asked to produce a utility bill or similar document to confirm the address.
To assure everyone can check on their properties in a safe, orderly and timely fashion, residents will be limited to two vehicles per person, officials have issued the following re-entry schedule:
8:00 a.m. to noon:
Residents who have lost their homes This includes those property owners who have been pre-contacted and advised of loss of their structures.
Noon – 2 p.m.:
Residents east of State Road 87 All other residents east of SR 87 in the communities of Tamarron Pines, Blue Ridge Estates, Ponderosa Pines, Mogollon Ranch, Clear Creek Pines Units 8 and 9, Starlight Ranchettes, Moqui Ranch and Moqui Ranchettes).
2 p.m. – 7 p.m.:
Residents west of State Road 87 All residents west of SR 87 in the communities of Clear Creek Pines Units 3 & 7, Clear Creek Pines Units 4, 5 and 6, Pine Canyon, Fisher).
All roadblocks will be lifted to public use.
To assist returning residents, the following organizations will form an Individual Assistance
Support Center at the Blue Ridge Community Church, just north of the Blue Ridge Fire District
Station at 5023 Enchanted Gardens:
• Coconino Public Health
• American Red Cross
• Arizona Southern Baptist Disaster Relief
• HOPE Animal-Assistance Crisis Response
• Arizona Department of Insurance
• Arizona Department of Economic Security
• Arizona Department of Veteran Services
• Arizona Registrar of Contractors
• Salvation Army
Those wishing to support resident's recovery efforts can make a tax-deductible cash donation via text message by texting “2018Fire” to 41444. People can also donate to a designated fund established through the United Way of Northern Arizona.
The American Red Cross is urging people affected by the Tinder Fire to visit the Individual Assistance center. Caseworkers will be on-hand to provide assistance to people in need. They'll also be offering clean-up kits, comfort kits and snacks.
IASC ADDRESS: 5023 Enchanted Gardens Lane, Happy Jack, AZ (hours: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.)
STRUCTURES LOST: 33 primary residences, 54 minor structures ACRES: 15,841 acres (as of 9 p.m Saturday) NEXT COMMUNITY MEETING: Unknown CONTAINMENT: 79% CAUSE: Fire officials have found the cause to be an abandoned illegal campfire. Investigators determined that the fire originated in the East Clear Creek drainage approximately one mile downstream from Forest Road 95. LOCATION: 1.5 miles northeast of Blue Ridge Reservoir START DATE: April 27, 2018 FUELS: Timber (grass and understory) RESIDENTS WITH QUESTIONS: Call 928-213-2990 or 928-679-8393. RESOURCES: 413 personnel including 8 crews, 4 helicopters, 20 engines, 5 dozers, 1 water tenders, and other support personnel
SUMMARY: The fire has burned an estimated 15,841 acres and is burning 1.5 miles northeast of Blue Ridge Reservoir. 87 structures have also been lost in the fire, including 33 primary residences and 54 minor structures, according to the Coconino National Forest.
Wednesday's rain and snow minimized fire activity, according to officials. Fire personnel took advantage of the weather to strengthen fire lines.
Approximately 413 personnel including 8 crews, 4 helicopters, 20 engines, 5 dozers, 1 water tenders, and other support personnelare working to continue contain the fire.
According to fire officials, they have found the cause to be an abandoned illegal campfire during Stage 1 fire restrictions.
The fire was reported by the Moqui Tower lookout before noon on April 27 and started near Forest Road 95, 1.5 miles east of C.C. Cragin Reservoir.
Anyone with information that could assist in the investigation is asked to call Forest Service Law Enforcement at (928) 527-3511.
An evacuation site was set up at Twin Arrows Navajo Casino Resort, 22181 Resort Blvd, Flagstaff, AZ 86004. Small animals are being evacuated to this site. The original site was at Winslow Junior High, but was later moved due to smoke in the area.
Governor Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency Monday in response to the fire.
The declaration allows for additional state resources for response efforts, according to officials.
"I’m issuing today’s declaration to ensure that they have the necessary resources to protect the lives, pets and property of Arizonans impacted by this fire. We will continue to coordinate with state and local emergency response officials," Governor Ducey said in a news release.
County officials say large animals are being accepted at the Holbrook Navajo County Fairgrounds.
Coconino County health officials are encouraging Winslow and Holbrook residents to take precautions from health effects of wildfire smoke.
Anyone who was in the area of Forest Road 95 or East Clear River between April 26 & 27 and has information that could help the investigation is urged to call Forest Service Law Enforcement at 928-527-3511.
UPDATE: SR 87 NB/SB south of Winslow near Clints Well. Road is closed for the Tinder Fire from MP 290-312. This looking north near Clints Well. #aztrafficpic.twitter.com/gotYjefQcO