Coconino County Sheriff officials have ordered residents in multiple communities across North-Central Arizona to immediately evacuate their homes while they try to contain the wildfires that have spread throughout the area. Officials have deemed that the blaze is still hazardous and if they are unsuccessful in containing it, the fires may ravage through more than 500 homes that are in its path. The order was given to all residents on Sunday afternoon, April 29, as firefighters continue to battle with the flames that have already eaten through 500 acres of land.

Putting it out

As reported by AZ Central, firefighters and a number of “hotshot” crews have already been dispatched to try and contain the wildfires in the area. The wildfires are currently spreading to the east and west of Highway 87, which could affect areas such as Moquis Ranchettes, Timber Ranch, Tamarron, Pine Canyon, Blue Ridge Estates, Mogollon Ranch, Ponderosa Pines, Starlight Pines, and Clear Creek. Vehicles such as bulldozers, cranes, fire engines, and helicopters have already been dispatched to the affected areas to assist in containing the fire.

According to the National Wildfire Coordinating Group, 63 percent of the wildfires have so far been put out, but they are still trying to minimize the damage by flanking the flames and removing unburnt fuel sources in its path.

Teams have also been dispatched to mitigate adverse smoke effects that are affecting the highways, which could dramatically reduce visibility for drives, leading to vehicular accidents.

Cause of the flame

Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the wildfire. The fire itself has been described to look like it was “fueled by gasoline,” when in fact it is being fed by dry brush, grass, and timber.

The majority of wildfires are, in fact, caused by humans, but there are instances where this is not necessarily the case. As reported by ABC15, the wildfire that spread through Kenrick Park back in March was caused by a crashed drone, which eventually burned through 335 acres of land. The official cause of the latest wildfire is still under investigation.

Officials have at least determined that the source of the fire was one mile northeast of Blue Ridge Reservoir.

Emergency contact

The Arizona wildfires are still currently blazing through a major part of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, Fort Apache, and the San Carlos Indian Reservations. Residents are encouraged to immediately contact the Emergency Operations Center (928-679-8393) for more information regarding the status of the wildfires and to know if they are in the path of oncoming fires. Several roads have already been closed and drivers have been advised to look for alternative routes towards their destinations.