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Tinder Fire State of Emergency Declared, 1,000 Homes Evacuated


The Tinder Fire near Clint’s Well has forced the evacuation of about a thousand homes and burned more than 8,600 acres. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, fire officials say there isn’t yet any containment of the blaze.

Red Flag winds and dry conditions caused the explosive growth of the Tinder Fire Sunday. More than 500 firefighters, including thirteen hotshot crews and air support are trying to contain the blaze that’s burning on the Coconino National Forest near the Blue Ridge community. 

"We’re bumping up against that similar conditions today. Not quite to the Red Flag category because of the humidity. But still as dangerous no matter," says Brian Scott with the Southwest Incident Management Team.

Scott says several structures have burned including homes, and crews are focused on protecting area communities. No firefighter or evacuee injuries have been reported.

The Coconino County Board of Supervisors has declared a state of emergency, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency has authorized funds to assist the state. In addition, the Arizona Department of Transportation has closed a stretch State Route 87 in the area.

The cause of the Tinder Fire is under investigation.

The American Red Cross has relocated the evacuee shelter to the Twin Arrows Casino east of Flagstaff on Interstate-40. There will also be a community meeting tonight about the Tinder Fire at the Winslow High School Performing Arts Center at 6 o’clock.

Ryan Heinsius joined the KNAU newsroom as executive producer in 2013 and was named news director and managing editor in 2024. As a reporter, he has covered a broad range of stories from local, state and tribal politics to education, economy, energy and public lands issues, and frequently interviews internationally known and regional musicians. Ryan is an Edward R. Murrow Award winner and a Public Media Journalists Association Award winner, and a frequent contributor to NPR's Morning Edition, All Things Considered and national newscast.
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