KNAU's Morning Rundown: Friday, June 11
It’s Friday, June 11. A warming trend is set to continue this weekend, according to the National Weather Service. Excessive heat warnings will be in effect beginning Saturday and Sunday for communities including Prescott and Grand Canyon Village. Forecasters say temperatures could surpass 110º next week in lower elevation regions of Yavapai County.
‘Progress’ On Slate Fire Near Flagstaff, Forest Officials Say
Crews are still working to contain a fire 23 miles northwest of Flagstaff. The Slate Fire has grown to about 5,000 acres according to the Coconino National Forest. No containment has been reported per the Bureau of Land Management; a stretch of Route 180 remains closed.
Windy conditions contributed to the fire’s growth, fire officials say; it continues to move northeast and away from Flagstaff. District Ranger Matt McGrath on Thursday said progress was being made.
McGrath says the fire started two miles from the nearest road; its cause hasn’t been determined.
“Oftentimes, when we roll up on a fire, and it’s adjacent to a road, there’s usually a campfire ring, there’s some clear evidence,” McGrath said Thursday.
“In this case,” he added, “we don't have any of that clear evidence so the cause is under investigation.”
Stage two fire restrictions went into effect this morning for Flagstaff; Yavapai and Coconino counties; and Coconino, Kaibab and Prescott national forests.
Legislative Session On Tap For AZ Wildfires
Gov. Doug Ducey has called for a special legislative session concerning wildfire action as fires continue to burn statewide.
Fire officials and lawmakers will meet with community members likely next week, Ducey says, to allocate funding for affected areas. Ducey also says they’ll discuss prevention of subsequent mudslides and flooding. The Telegraph Fire east of Superior has grown to more than 132 square miles at 40% containment.
Coconino County Surpasses 50% Vaccination Rate
More than half of Coconino County — 50.1% — has received a COVID-19 vaccine, according to county data.
A pop-up vaccine clinic is slated today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. outside the Coconino County Courthouse. Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines will be offered for individuals 18 and older, while the Pfizer vaccine will be available for those as young as 12 years old.
Navajo Nation Leaders Continue To Consider Federal Funds
Negotiations continue among Navajo Nation tribal officials concerning the American Rescue Plan. The tribe received more than $1.8 billion in COVID-19 relief funding from the federal government.
President Jonathan Nez met with Utah chapter leaders on Thursday; many chapters, he said, have suggested common themes of investing in water, broadband and road infrastructure.
Nez will hold a virtual town hall Monday with the Federal Emergency Management Agency discussing FEMA’s COVID-19 burial assistance program.
Tribal officials on Thursday reported nine new cases and no recent related deaths.
Home Vaccinations Roll Out, Verde Valley-Based Provider Announces
A healthcare provider based in the Verde Valley says it’s now conducting COVID-19 vaccinations at the homes of residents. Spectrum Healthcare announced Thursday it’s offering the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines.
It follows a trend of small-scale, community based vaccination efforts unfolding across the country as demand for the vaccine dwindles compared to earlier months. Daily administration rates have declined in Yavapai County since April, according to state data; 42.7% of the county’s population has been inoculated so far.
New Reward Offered In Prescott Decades-Old Murder Case
Yavapai County Sheriff’s officials say they’re still seeking information related to the 1987 murder of Cathy Sposito. Deputies announced Thursday a $10,000 reward will now be offered for those with relevant tips; informants will remain anonymous, YSCO says. The woman was killed nearly 34 years ago while hiking the Thumb Butte Trail west of Prescott.