Authorities say the Museum Fire burning north of Flagstaff now is 61% contained. That’s up from 46-percent containment reported on Saturday.
Fire officials say the blaze has scorched more than 19-hundred acres or about 3 square miles in the Coconino National Forest in Flagstaff since it started on July 21st. The cause of the fire is under investigation.
Authorities say smoldering fire on the steep slopes west of Oldham Park and Little Elden Mountain continues to challenge firefighters. A federal team began collecting data Friday to analyze the soil and come up with ways to minimize flooding. More than 26,000 sandbags have been filled as part of the preparation for possible floodwaters.
Officials say the lower humidity over the weekend has allowed the fire to create more smoke.
Authorities say the public should use extreme caution when driving to and from local events on U.S. Highways 180 and 89 north of Flagstaff as firefighting vehicles are still operating in the area. Firefighter and public safety is the number one priority, and vehicle accidents are a major cause of death for wildland firefighters.