Wet Weather Assists Tinder Fire Crews as Residents Remain Evacuated

May 2, 2018

Firefighters battling the 11,500-acre Tinder Fire are taking advantage of the wet weather in their efforts to contain it. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, residents of about 1,000 homes are still under evacuation orders.

Smoke from the Tinder Fire drifts through the trees on the Coconino National Forest on April 30, 2018.
Credit Brady Smith/USFS

Nearly 700 firefighters battling the Tinder Fire are strengthening containment lines during a break from red flag winds and dangerously dry conditions. The wildfire is burning about 50 miles south of Flagstaff on the Coconino National Forest near Clint’s Well.

"There’s going to be likely very, very little fire activity today, which is really good for our firefighters because that gives them a day or two here to maybe catch up on some things before we get back into a drying trend," says Brian Scott with the Southwest Area Incident Management Team.

The Tinder Fire has burned several homes and forced the evacuation of about 600 residents. Officials say the flames have moved away from communities, but they still aren’t ready to allow residents to return.

Fire crews are patrolling the area as utility companies assess damage to propane tanks and other infrastructure.

Coconino National Forest officials say an illegal abandoned campfire is to blame for starting the blaze.