Photo: SAMUEL CORUM/Agence France-Presse / AFP / Getty Images
The Pipeline Fire in Arizona, about six miles from Flagstaff, has burned more than 20,000 acres, about four times the area it occupied on Monday afternoon, according to Coconino National Forest officials.
Two smaller fires in the vicinity, the Haywire Fire and the Double Fire, are now combined and named the Haywire Fire, and are about 4,000 acres in size, according to a statement from the national forest.
Both fires were at 0% containment as of Tuesday afternoon., according to the statement. The Pipeline Fire was reported on Sunday and the Haywire Fire on Monday, according to Inciweb.
Hot, windy and dry conditions have hampered firefighting efforts, but “lower wind speeds may allow air operations throughout the day on Tuesday and beyond,” the statement said. Officials closed off access to almost the entire northern part of the forest.
A 57-year-old man was arrested by Forest Service law enforcement officers in connection with the Pipeline Wildfire and charged with natural resource violations. The subject was booked into the Coconino County Sheriff’s Detention Center.
Coconino County authorities evacuated hundreds of homes on Sunday due to the fire and thousands more were told to be prepared to evacuate. The county board of supervisors has declared a state of emergency due to the impact of the fires in the area.
Less than two months ago, hundreds of homes in Flagstaff were forced to evacuate due to the Tunnel Fire, that swept about 14 miles northeast of the city. The fire, which started on April 17, eventually burned around 19,000 acres, according to InciWeb.
There are 40 major wildfires active in the United States on Tuesday that have burned nearly 1.2 million acres in six states, according to the National Interagency Fire Center (NFIC).
In New Mexico, firefighters are battling the two largest fires in state history at once, the Hermits Peak/Calf Canyon Fire just northeast of Santa Fe and the Black Fire in the Gila National Forest. The two have burned more than 600,000 acres combined.
Crews in northern New Mexico have cut and cleared containment lines around nearly half the perimeter of the largest active wildfire in the nationas they prepare for the return of weather conditions that could fan the flames and send embers into the air.
“Seven new large fires were reported yesterday, three in Alaska and Arizona and one in Utah,” the NIFC said. “More than 6,200 wildland firefighters and support personnel are assigned to incidents.”
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