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Tinder Fire Crews Make Progress as Plans for Evacuee Returns Made

Brady Smith/USFS

Crews have begun to suppress the Tinder Fire burning near Clint’s Well after it began nearly a week ago. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the blaze is 12 percent contained and has reached more than 12,200 acres.

Precipitation and calmer winds in recent days have allowed more than 600 firefighters to slow the spread of the Tinder Fire. It’s burning on the Coconino National Forest about 50 miles south of Flagstaff.

Brian Scott with the Southwest Area Incident Management Team says crews have made significant progress.

"We’ve had the benefit of some cloud cover the last couple days that really slowed the fire activity. With that we were able to do some of those firing operations and get out ahead of the main flame front," he says.

Scott says firefighters are expecting a return of dry, warm conditions in the coming days, and are focusing on firing operating and shoring up containment lines. State Route 87 remains closed in the area.

In addition, Coconino County officials are making plans for about 600 evacuated residents to eventually return. More than 40 homes were destroyed or heavily damaged by the wildfire, which started with an illegal abandoned campfire.

Coconino County officials will hold a Tinder Fire community meeting Thursday at 6 p.m. at Winslow High School. They’re expected to discuss reentry information with evacuees.

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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