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Calmer winds assist firefighting efforts on Pipeline Fire, some evacuations lifted

Pipeline 6-14-22
Ryan Heinsius/KNAU
A DC10 circles above the Pipeline Fire on the San Francisco Peaks before making a fire retardant drop on the south facing flanks on Tue, June 14, 2022.

Managers on the Pipeline Fire say it’s reached more than 20,000 acres with no reported containment. Calmer winds and more favorable firefighting conditions are in store Tuesday though critical fire weather is still in effect.

Officials are utilizing helicopters, DC10 planes and other aircraft to drop fire retardant and water in their attempts to contain the blaze.

According to officials, the Pipeline Fire is the number one priority fire in the nation and will receive additional resources in the coming days.

Coconino National Forest officials say crews Tuesday are looking for opportunities to directly engage with the Pipeline Fire to keep it from entering communities to the northeast. Firefighters plan to use the footprints from the recent Tunnel Fire and the 2010 Schultz Fire to their advantage.

A Type 1 incident team will assume command of the fire Wednesday.

At least one structure is confirmed to have been destroyed.

Meanwhile, the Haywire Fire, which has merged with the Double Fire, is burning east of Sunset Crater is now more than 4,000 acres.

The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office says the evacuation order for residents of North Doney Park has now been lifted along with McCann Estates, the Silver Saddle Trailer Park, Fernwood, Hutchison Acres, Swede Acres and Johnson Ranch. Those areas are now in Set status and were among the hundreds of households given the Go evacuation order because of the Pipeline Fire. All other evacuation orders, including Timberline and neighborhoods north of Campbell to the summit on U.S. Highway 89, remain in place. A Go order also remains in place because of the separate Haywire Fire. Hundreds of homes are still under evacuation orders.

Officials will hold a community meeting Tuesday night at 6 p.m. to address the wildfires at Sinagua Middle School. They’ll give updates regarding firefighting efforts and evacuations. It’ll also be broadcast on Coconino County’s Facebook page.