Fire Updates And Morning Rundown: July 5, 2021
Rafael Fire Nears Full Containment; Team Surveys Damage
The Rafael Fire southwest of Flagstaff is burning at 78,065 acres and is 95% contained, according to the latest update from the Prescott National Forest. Area communities affected by the fire have been downgraded to “ready” status for potential evacuation, including Sycamore Canyon.
The Type 1 Incident Management Team says a reduced number of 113 personnel will monitor the fire’s perimeter. A response team has recorded 49,710 acres of low soil burn severity, 14,683 acres of moderate severity and 5,677 acres of high severity.
Tiger Fire Expands Near Crown King; Gunsights Fire Nears Full Containment
A lightning-caused fire northeast of Black Canyon City and 11 miles southeast of Crown King is burning at 11,970 acres with no containment reported, the fire’s Incident Management Team reported this morning.
Crown King, Black Canyon City and Cleator are in “ready” status for potential evacuation; Lorena Gulch Cabins has entered “set” status. An evacuation order is effective for Horsethief Basin.
Community meetings will be held in-person and virtually later today.
Meanwhile, the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management reports progress on a lightning-caused fire south of Paulden and about 12 miles northwest of Chino Valley. The Gunsights Fire on Sunday remained below 220 acres and with 95% containment.
Collision Kills Pedestrian In Flagstaff
A vehicle struck two pedestrians in Flagstaff Friday evening, July 2 on North Highway 89 and Country Club Drive; the collision killed one individual, while another is in stable condition, according to the Flagstaff Police Department.
The driver, a 30-year-old Flagstaff man, was arrested for leaving the scene of the crash. An investigation remains ongoing. Police have withheld the name of the deceased individual until next of kin is notified. FPD records show an uptick in fatal collisions in the past year; no fatal collisions were reported in 2020.
Biking Infrastructure Discussions On Tap For Flagstaff City Council
The Flagstaff City Council is slated to continue a discussion on separate bike lanes at a council meeting Tuesday, July 6. City officials are scheduled to deliberate concrete, metal railings or more portable and lower-cost candlestick-style barriers. Potential pilot streets for the plan include areas of Butler Ave. and Beaver St.; a driver in late May struck six cyclists on the intersection, killing 29-year-old Joanna Wheaton. Community members have since continued to call for safer pedestrian and biking infrastructure.
Higher Bear Activity Reported As Drought Continues
The Arizona Game and Fish Department says the ongoing dry conditions in the state may lead to bears traveling into atypical locations in search of available food. Larry Phoenix, Flagstaff-based AZGFD supervisor based in Flagstaff, says it’s detrimental for bears to become dependent on human food sources; the department encouraged residents to keep trash and food secure.
Most of northern Arizona remains in exceptional drought status — the most severe category designated by the National Drought Mitigation Center.
YSCO Searches For Woman Seen At Bloody Basin
The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office is seeking information related to Colleen L Reckow, who was last seen in the Bloody Basin area on July 1. Reckow is a 37-year-old white woman with short brown hair and brown eyes; she’s 5-foot-4 and 135 pounds. She was last seen wearing a blue shirt and blue bandana; YSCO says her vehicle was recovered three miles east of I-17.
Phase Approved For Navajo Nation CARES Act Hardship Program
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez has approved a final phase for COVID-19 relief funding meant to aid tribal citizens during the pandemic. Nez says more than 1,800 people on the Nation have applied but not received the funding due to application problems. An application for the Hardship Program will also reopen for about 90,000 people who never applied, Nez says. A virtual town hall and radio forum are slated this week concerning the program. Nez meanwhile faces a deadline to approve or veto a measure from the Navajo Nation Council that would reopen in-person instruction on the reservation along with Diné-owned businesses and roads to tourists.