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Tunnel Fire morning update, Monday, April 25th, 2022: containment estimated at 15%, "Heliwell" portable water site aids air support

Coconino County Sheriff's Office

Crews fighting the Tunnel Fire northeast of Flagstaff have gained 15% containment of the blaze, which has been burning since Easter Sunday.

Monday morning’s fire update from the Coconino National Forest says calmer, cooler weather this weekend aided firefighting efforts. Conditions are expected to be warmer and drier today.

Winds are expected to shift to the southwest Tuesday through Thursday with possible gusts up to 40 mph. Forest managers say fire weather conditions are expected to reach record breaking levels for this time of year.

The Type 1 Incident Commander on the Tunnel Fire says crews will take advantage of today’s weather to secure fire line ahead of predicted winds.

Air support is assisting ground crews today as they work on the northeast edge of the Tunnel Fire in the Strawberry Crater Wilderness Area.

A 4,000 gallon portable water site, known as a “heliwell” has been set up along Forest Road 545 near Painted Desert Vista. Managers say it has greatly reduced the turnaround time for helicopters to support mop-up efforts and line construction.

Evacuations: Information about evacuations is updated online at the Coconino County Tunnel Fire page. The County has also established a Coconino County Tunnel Fire Call Center at 928-679-8525.


Closures: The Coconino National Forest has instituted a Forest Closure Order for the area affected by the Tunnel Fire.




Facebook: U.S. Forest Service - Coconino National Forest