MAP: Tenderfoot Fire downgraded to 3,300 acres, fire officials say

Posted at 6:47 AM, Jun 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-06-11 01:37:53-04

Fire crews are attacking the Tenderfoot Fire from the air, while reopening a state highway Friday.

State Route 89 reopened to traffic just before 5 p.m. Friday between Prescott and Congress. Drivers are urged to be cautious while fire crews work around Yarnell and Peeples Valley.

Approximately 250 residents remain evacuated.

"We are going to vet the threat of fire back into the communities," said Alan Sinclair, commander for Southwest Incident Management Team 3.

Sinclair says APS is still working to repair damage to the area's electric lines.

"We want to make sure people have power when they go home," Sinclair said.

Four hundred firefighters have arrived to help, but much of the progress came from aircraft dumping water and slurry Friday. Officials said the fire was moving northeast, away from populated areas. Breezy conditions created orange flare-ups on the steep ridges. The latest estimate had the fire at 3,300 acres with 10 percent containment.

"It's just got a lot of country to move in, and it's not forgiving country," said Sinclair.

The mom of one of the Granite Mountain hotshots who died in a fire near Yarnell three years ago, brought fresh fruit, snacks, and encouragement to fire camp Friday afternoon.

"These are unique individuals that come out and do this," Deborah Pfingston, mother of Andrew Ashcraft, said.

She works with a non-profit group, founded after 2013's Yarnell Hill Fire, to provide encouragement and support to wildland firefighters.

"It's work that's backbreaking," Pfingston said. "They swing tools. It's hot. It's heavy."

Take a look at the map below to see where the Tenderfoot fire has been so far, according to the latest data from the United States Geological Survey.

The flames broke out Wednesday, leading about 250 people to evacuate their homes close to Yarnell, about 60 miles northwest of the Valley.

Firefighters have a perimeter around 10 percent of the fire and the weather forecast calls for favorable conditions over the next several days, said RobbRoy Williams, the incident commander. "We're looking very good," he said.

GALLERY: Photos from Air15, ABC15 viewers of the Tenderfoot Fire