May 1 (UPI) — Arizona’s Tinder Fire grew to 11,420 acres Tuesday with zero percent containment, emergency officials said.
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office ordered evacuations for all communities north, east and west of Highway 87, which will remain in place as firefighters attempt to contain the west and north flanks of the fire.
Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency in Coconino County on Monday, three days after it broke out.
“Public safety is a top priority and we’re grateful for the first responders who continue to battle the Tinder Fire. I’m issuing today’s declaration to ensure that they have the necessary resources to protect the lives, pets and property of Arizonans. We will continue to coordinate with state and local emergency response officials,” Ducey said.
Some 559 fire personnel were working to extinguish the fire, including six helicopters, 15 crews and 40 fire engines. The fire was zero percent contained as of Tuesday evening.
A storm system approaching the area is expected to bring heavy winds that likely will push smoke north, while cloud cover and increased humidity are expected to reduce fire behavior.
There also is an increased chance of precipitation and a chance of thunderstorms Tuesday evening into Wednesday that may cause smoke to be blown in different directions with downdrafts.