Arizona wildfire grows, winds worry officials

  • Arizona wildfire grows, winds worry officials

Arizona wildfire grows, winds worry officials

A mapping flight at 1 a.m. MT on Monday showed that it had burned 8,623 acres west of Highway 87 between Payson and Winslow, Arizona.

A red flag warning is in effect until 7 p.m. for several areas of the state on Monday with warm temperatures, low humidity and winds expected to gust to 20-40 miles per hour.

The wildfire, sparked Friday about 9 miles east of Clints Well, Ariz., forced the evacuation Sunday of about 10 communities near Blue Ridge Reservoir, about 100 miles northeast of Phoenix.

A shelter has been set up at for people and smaller animals at Twin Arrows Casino and a large animal shelter has been opened at Holbrook Navajo County Fairgrounds. The Superstition Fire and Medical District tweeted Sunday it was sending a fire engine and a four-person crew to the scene for assistance.

Officials told ABC News they announced the evacuations "knowing the wind is going to sustain" and in light of the significant fire growth throughout last night.

"Structures were lost", fire officials said.

Evacuees needing evacuation information can call the County Call Center at 928-679-8393.

Smoke from the fire is also impacting nearby Winslow. Firefighters refrained from providing any more details till the investigation into the cause was completed, local radio station KTAR reported.

There were more than 500 people working to contain the fire, including seven hotshot crews (firefighters assigned to the hottest part of the fire), three initial-attack crews and more, according to InciWeb.

Residents also urged Coconino National Forest officials to enact Stage 2 restrictions to limit all fires.

Arizona 87 was closed in both directions southeast of Flagstaff from milepost 290 to 312, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.