UPDATED 8:24 AM PT – Tuesday, June 14, 2022
A wind-driven wildfire forces hundreds of evacuations near Flagstaff, Arizona. According to reports Tuesday, the Pipeline Fire sparked Sunday and has scorched 20,000 acres.
Two additional fires, the Haywire Fire and Double Fire, are straining firefighting efforts in the region. Officials said strong winds are fueling the flames and helping them spread. Flagstaff declared a state of emergency, activating additional state and federal resources.
I have just signed a Declaration of Emergency for the Pipeline Fire. pic.twitter.com/GKutJKR7vK
— Flagstaff Mayor Paul Deasy (@MayorDeasy) June 13, 2022
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office arrested Mathew Riser, a homeless man camping in the area, for violating the forest’s fire ban. Riser was reportedly burning used toilet paper, but has not yet been charged for directly causing the Pipeline Fire. He’s due in federal court on Thursday.
Views from the O’Leary Webcam at 360 Overwatch tonight at 8:28 p.m. give us an idea of just how far this fire has spread… from the peak to the valley below. The views we’re accustomed to will be black come morning. This is why we obey burn bans! #PipelineFire #azwx pic.twitter.com/YRhcKbajpM
— NWS Flagstaff (@NWSFlagstaff) June 14, 2022
Meanwhile, a Red Cross evacuation center has been established and will be operating out of Singaua Middle School. Shelter will be provided for residents who have evacuated. Fire officials are urging citizens to use caution when traveling and to stay up-to-date with developments.