Erratic winds cause growth on Committee Fire near Sedona, Wikieup fire forces evacuations
The Committee Fire has so far burned more than 100 acres just east of Sedona on Munds Mountain. Coconino National Forest officials say the lightning-caused blaze grew Sunday due to erratic shifting winds caused by thunderstorms.
Aerial resources were grounded due to high winds and safety concerns Sunday afternoon.
Crews were safely removed from the fire area and aerial resources were grounded prior to the wind event.
The fire is moving at a moderate rate of spread through heavy brush. It’s 0% contained.
Resources assigned to the Committee Fire include two Type 1 helicopters, 1 Type 2 helicopter, 1 Type 3 helicopter, 1 Unmanned Aircraft System module, 1 Hotshot crew, 1 fuels crew, 1 engine. Additional resources are on order.
Fire officials noted that smoke will continue to be visible from the Sedona area Monday. No structures are threatened at this time.
A closure order has been issued for various roads and trails in the area, including Schnebly Hill Road and the Jacks Canyon National Forest System Trail.
Meanwhile, a fast-moving wildfire has forced the evacuation of about 20 people in the Mohave County community of Wikieup.
State fire officials said the Big Sandy Fire was an estimated 150 acres Sunday and threatening multiple structures as dense vegetation burns just a few miles outside the unincorporated community.
Smoke is visible along U.S. 93 and the wind-driven blaze is creating numerous spot fires in the area. Authorities have already ordered additional resources, including a hot shot crew.
It’s not yet clear how the fire started, but Bureau of Land Management officials say recent monsoon activity has ignited at least six different wildfires in the Kingman area.