Arizona authorities order evacuations as wildfire grows to 1,800 acres
A wildfire inside the Coconino National Forest near Flagstaff, Arizona, grew to 1,800 acres in size, prompting authorities to order mandatory evacuations in the surrounding area Monday.
Firefighters hadn’t been able to contain any of the fire by Tuesday, and Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency in Coconino County. No homes or structures have been affected.
The Museum Fire was first reported on Sunday and has since stretched across the forest, the US Forest Service website shows.
Communities near the fire, about 5 miles north of Flagstaff, were given pre-evacuation notices Monday after the US Forest Service conducted aerial assessments of the fire, according to an emergency alert from Coconino County.
More than 500 firefighters, as well as hotshot crews, helicopters and air tankers, are working to contain the blaze, the governor’s office said in a release.
Communities given preevacuation notices include Mt. Elden Lookout Estates, Hutcheson Acres, McCann Estates, Little Elden Springs, Black Bill Park as well as Wupatki Trails and Pine Mountain Estates, the alert said.
Officials urged residents to get their emergency items in order and stay aware of the latest information should the need for mandatory evacuations arise.
An area off of Mount Elden Lookout Road was later ordered to evacuate, although the number of residents under a mandatory evacuation was not immediately available.
A state of emergency was declared by both the City of Flagstaff and the Coconino County due to the Museum Fire Monday night. The declaration allows the city and county to tap into emergency funding and request assistance from the state.
The governor’s state of emergency declaration will “ensure emergency officials have the resources they need to continue protecting people, pets and property,” Ducey said in the release.
Following the declaration, a new incident management team, Type 1 Southwest Area Incident Management Team 2, took over operations Monday night as crews continued to battle the blaze.
CNN’s Jessica Jordan and Theresa Waldrop contributed to this report.