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KNAU's Morning Rundown: Tuesday, June 8

U.S. Forest Service, Coconino National Forest

It’s Tuesday, June 8.  A Red Flag Warning remains in effect for northern Mohave County, according to the National Weather Service. Regional winds are expected to pick up Thursday with gusts reaching up to 40 mph; forecasters say the dry conditions can lead to a heightened risk of wildfire.

Slate FireGrows, Prompts Highway Closure

Crews are managing a wildfire about 23 miles northwest of Flagstaff, near Highway 180 and the boundary of the Kaibab National Forest, according to Coconino National Forest Officials. 

The Slate Fire has reached 1,200 acres with 150 personnel onsite as the fire moves northeast, District Ranger Matt McGrath said earlier this morning. The fire has closed Highway 180 between mileposts 235 and 248; the closure was still effective this morning at 10:23 a.m., according to forest officials.

No structural damage has been reported. The fire’s cause remains unknown.

Forest officials advised those near McKinney Tank and Indian Flat to be ready for potential evacuation though they say evacuation is not likely. This is a developing story.

Arizona Hits 6 Million Vaccine Doses, Offers Incentives 

State health officials administered more than 6 million doses of COVID-19 vaccine according to the Arizona Department of Health Services.

ADHS plans to gradually close its seven mass vaccination sites by the end of the month. A state-run vaccination event on Saturday offered free Diamondbacks tickets to those who received a COVID-19 vaccine. It comes as local governments across the country experiment with incentives for individuals who receive the shot.

Vaccines On Tap In Chinle, Many Farms, Tsaile

Officials with the Navajo Area Indian Health Service plan to offer dosesof the Pfizer vaccine to individuals as young as twelve later today at the Chinle High School’s Wildcat Den. The Moderna vaccine will also be offered at the pop-up clinic. Similar clinics will be held tomorrow at the Many Farms Public School and Thursday at Tsaile Public School. President Jonathan Nez says his own 13-year-old son received his second dose of the Pfizer vaccine late last week. 

Arson In Paulden Under Investigation As Fire Season Continues

Deputies are investigating an arson case in Paulden, according to the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office. Officials say fire managers successfully diminished a fire Thursday evening, but that the outbreak appeared to be created intentionally. YSCO also says a homemade incendiary device was also involved but did not ignite successfully. Stage one fire restrictions are in place across the region due to dry and warm conditions. 

Flagstaff Affordable Housing Plan Continues 

The Flagstaff City Council is slated to further discuss its developing 10 Year Housing Plan at a council work session later today. It comes after the city circulated a housing survey for Flagstaff residents that closed last month; a 30-day public comment period is on tap for August before a housing draft is released for the next decade. The city declared an affordable housing crisis last December. 

Yavapai County Libraries Return 

Yavapai County Libraries have returned to full service, according to county officials; branches including those in Ash Fork, Congress, and Dewey-Humboldt have returned to normal capacity. County Library Director Corey Christians says curbside service will continue. It comes as public facilities across the state reopen amid a continued decline in COVID-19 cases; Flagstaff libraries reopened last week at limited capacities with a mask mandate in effect.

Page Council To Consider Dispensaries

The Page City council is slated to hold a citizen review session June 15 concerning the permission of retail cannabis dispensaries. The potential amendment would allow dispensaries to operate with a conditional use permit; the proposal would prohibit operators from establishing dispensaries within 1,200 feet of a school, park or residential zoning district. Arizonans voted to legalize recreational cannabis in November, though local jurisdictions have maintained or imposed additional regulations concerning the substance.

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