Fire crews’ diligence and hard work have resulted in an increase in containment to 15% on the Tunnel Fire. Yesterday residents were able to re-enter the previously evacuated neighborhoods. US Highway 89 was re-opened yesterday afternoon. Firefighters continue to mop up, patrol and secure existing fireline while constructing new fireline to the northeast portion of the fire.
Weather: Conditions are expected to be drier and warmer today. Winds are expected to shift to the southwest and increase in speed Tuesday through Thursday, with possible gusts to 40 miles on hour on Thursday. The fire weather conditions are expected to reach record breaking levels for this time of year.
“We’ll be taking advantage of today’s weather to continue securing fireline ahead of the expected winds later this week,” said Incident Commander Randy Johnson.
Today’s Activities: Favorable winds today will allow for aviation to assist hand crews as they corral the northeast edge of the fire in the Strawberry Crater Wilderness Area. A 4,000 gallon portable water site, known as a “heliwell” has been set up along Forest Road 545 near Painted Desert Vista. The newly established heliwell will greatly reduce the turnaround time for helicopters to be able to support mop-up, cold trailing and line construction on the northeast portion of the fire near Black Mountain and in the Strawberry Crater. Crews are mopping up along fireline to Forest Road 9134E north of Black Mountain. Engine crews are patrolling and mopping up in and around the Timberline and Wupatki Trails, Forest Road 420 (Schultz Pass Road) as well as the southern edge of the fire along Forest Road 545 (Sunset Crater/Wupatki Loop Road).
Evacuations: Information about evacuations is updated online at the Coconino County Tunnel Fire page. The County has also established a Coconino County Tunnel Fire Call Center at 928-679-8525.
Closures: The Coconino National Forest has instituted a Forest Closure Order for the area affected by the Tunnel Fire.
Start date: April 17, 2022
Cause: Under investigation
Pacific Northwest Team 3
Size: 21,216 acres
Containment: 15 percent
Total personnel: 430
Location: 14 miles northeast of Flagstaff, Ariz.
Resources: 8 Crews, 23 Engines, 5 Dozers, 1 Air Attack Plane, 2 Helicopters
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: U.S. Forest Service - Coconino National Forest