Firefighters focused today on the north and northwest portions of the fire, strengthening lines on the west flank, and continuing to patrol and mop-up the south perimeter. Despite day long, heavy, erratic winds, they succeeded in strengthening lines on those flanks of the fire and mopped up hot spots near the perimeter.
Forest Service investigators were able to access the point of origin of the Tinder Fire and have found the cause to be an abandoned illegal campfire during Stage I Fire Restrictions.
The fire was reported by the Moqui Tower lookout on April 27 at 11:43 a.m. and began near Forest Road 95, approximately 1.5 miles east of C.C. Cragin Reservoir. It quickly spread to the bottom of East Clear Creek Canyon, and strong southwest winds drove the fire in a northeast direction up the canyon and towards private property and residents located about 3 miles away.
The Tinder Fire has grown to an estimated 11,420 acres and is zero percent contained. The cause of the fire is unknown and still under investigation. The Tinder fire started April 27, about 1.5 miles northeast of Blue Ridge Reservoir on the Coconino National Forest. Resources include 559 personnel, including 15 crews, six helicopters, 40 engines, three dozers, 10 watertenders and overhead.
Evacuations and road closures in the Tinder Fire area remain in effect. As this is still a very dynamic situation, there is no estimated timeline for when closures will be lifted.
Residents of the evacuated areas should call the County Call Center at 928-679-8393 for recovery and evacuation information.
Evacuation notices went out via the Coconino County Emergency Notification System, door-to-door contacts and vehicle loud speaker notification through Sunday, April 29. It’s estimated that 600 people evacuated from the estimated 1,000 homes in the area.
Navajo County Public Health Director Jeff Lee has issued an Air Quality Health Advisory for residents in Navajo County due to smoke from the Tinder Fire in Coconino County and is advising that individuals take precautions to protect against the health impacts of wildfire smoke.
The Health Advisory is in effect until Friday May 4th, 2018 at 12:00 midnight.
Governor Doug Ducey today declared a State of Emergency in response to the Tinder Fire in Coconino County. This declaration makes available additional state resources for response efforts.
On April 27, the Tinder Fire began burning approximately 1.5 miles northeast of the Blue Ridge Reservoir in Coconino County. The fire has burned an estimated 8,000 acres. Significant fire growth is expected to continue due to strong southwest winds and red flag conditions.
Strong southwest winds will continue to be a hazard through Tuesday. Spotting will be common and problematic. There is a potential for very active to extreme fire behavior with rapid rates of spread and moderate to long range spotting through the day. As topography aligns with the wind, expect to see an increase in fire behavior.