(Photo : InciWeb)
(Photo : InciWeb)
A 3-D map showing icons representing heat detected on the Yarnell Fire by a satellite at 11:55 a.m. MDT, June 30, 2013 (Photo : http://wildfiretoday.com/2013/06/30/arizona-yarnell-fire/)
With wildfire season at its peak and wreaking havoc all across the southwest, Arizona has fallen victim to yet another fire that sparked on Friday night and has since grown to encompass at least 800 acres.
InciWeb reports that as of Sunday evening the Yarnell Hill wildfire in Yavapai County, Ariz. is estimated at between 800 - 1,000 acres. Approximately 250 fire personnel are battling the blaze, which is burning just 1.5 miles from the town of Yarnell.
According to ABC 15 News, as of 4:00pm on Sunday mandatory evacuation orders were underway for residents of the Model Creek Subdivision, the Double Bar A Ranch and the Buckhorn Subdivision. Additional evacuation orders were issued for Peeples Valley west of State Route 89, north of Yarnell Road and south of Sorrell Road. The town of Yarnell is also being evacuated. The fire is currently threatening between 120-150 homes.
"The fire is headed toward the [Model Creek] subdivision from the southeast to the northwest," said State Forestry Division spokesman Mike Reichling. "The fuels are very dry up here and the fire is in a valley right now. It's burning up the side of the mountain."
The fire, first reported at approximately 5:30pm on Friday June 28, currently has high growth potential, according to officials. The fire is moving uphill with 15- to 20-foot blazes being reported. It is moving north and east at half a mile per hour.
According to a report from azcentral.com, weather conditions on Sunday favored fire growth with winds blowing at 10-20 miles per hour, temperatures hovering around 100 degrees and humidity at about 18 percent. The low humidity, type of fuel (Chaparral and dry grass), topography and northwest direction of the wind is causing the fire to spread rapidly, creeping closer to nearby communities. The fire reportedly grew from 300 acres on Sunday morning to its current 800 - 1,000 acres.
In addition to the 250 firefighters on the scene, it's reported that 400 more are expected to arrive to help battle the blaze between Sunday night and Monday. According to InciWeb, the resources currently being used to fight the Yarnell Hill fire include 16 fire engines, eight support water tenders, two crash/rescue vehicles, two structure protection vehicles, one dozer, one Type 1 hand crew, seven Type 2 hand crews, one camp crew, four SEATs (Single Engine Air Tankers) and six helicopters. Additionally, on order are four Type 2 IA (Initial Attack) crews and one VLAT (Very Large Air Tanker).
CBS 5 News Arizona reports that a cooling station has been set up in Prescott at Yavapai College, where snacks, water and coffee are available for evacuated residents. If needed, the Red Cross says it will convert the center into a shelter, set up with cots and blankets for overnight stays. Evacuees would receive meals as well as assistance from Red Cross nurses and mental health volunteers.