Cedar Fire south of Show Low scorches more than 9,600 acres - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

UPDATE

Cedar Fire south of Show Low scorches more than 9,600 acres

An aerial view of the Cedar Creek Fire on Thursday, June 16 (Source: KPHO/KTVK) An aerial view of the Cedar Creek Fire on Thursday, June 16 (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
An aerial view of the Cedar Creek Fire on Thursday, June 16 (Source: KPHO/KTVK) An aerial view of the Cedar Creek Fire on Thursday, June 16 (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
An aerial view of the Cedar Creek Fire on Wednesday, June 15 at 5 p.m. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) An aerial view of the Cedar Creek Fire on Wednesday, June 15 at 5 p.m. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
(Source: Viewer photo) (Source: Viewer photo)
An aerial view of the Cedar Creek Fire on Wednesday, June 15 at 5 p.m. (Source: KPHO/KTVK) An aerial view of the Cedar Creek Fire on Wednesday, June 15 at 5 p.m. (Source: KPHO/KTVK)
SHOW LOW, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Cedar Fire burning in the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation, about 10 miles south of Show Low and Pinetop, has grown to 9,652 acres.

Officials changed the name from "Cedar Creek" to "Cedar" on Thursday.

There are 600 firefighters on the ground and additional fire resources, including heavy air tankers, have been requested.

Gov. Doug Ducey plans to tour the fire lines on Friday and get an update on the progress of the fire. He'll then speak to the media.

No structures have been lost at this time.

Fire officials called Thursday "a good day" because winds were significantly calmer than Wednesday. While no containment numbers have been released, there was a sense of optimism on Thursday night.

"I'd say we are good for today," Pruett Small, incident commander, said. "I think the wind has abated. I think we are going to have a better day tomorrow. You never say never in this business so I would stay with the cell phones and be ready to go."

A Type-One Incident Management Team took charge of the firefighting effort, which means battling the Cedar Fire is the top priority in the state.

The fire started around noon on Wednesday and moved in a northeast direction influenced by wind, topography and fuels. It grew to 5,276 acres and overnight burnout operations increased that number to approximately 8,000 acres on Thursday.

Thanks to the weather and the hard work of firefighters, crews are hopeful they'll make more progress on Friday.

"When this thing took off yesterday (Wednesday), I figured by 10 or 12 we'd have to do the evacuation," Navajo County Sheriff K.C. Clark said. "And I'm really, really happy that didn't happen."

Crews conducted burnout operations along the northern perimeter of the fire. Huge plumes of smoke could be seen miles away.

"The fire is in a position that legitimately gives us all considerable concern," said State Forester Jeff Whitney.

Forestdale is under an evacuation notice. A pre-evacuation notice has been issued for the following areas: Show Low, Pinetop, Lakeside, Hondah, McNary and the White River Indian Reservation.

Officials said people should be ready to evacuate on short notice. Gather documents, medications and any other necessities. If an evacuation is placed into effect, the evacuation routes will be via Highway 77 north toward Snowflake, Highway 260 west toward Heber or east toward Springerville depending on location, and Highway 60 east toward Springerville. 

Officials said if the fire reaches the B65 Road, then an evacuation will be ordered for most of Show Low extending to Hondah. At this time, the fire is about a half mile to a quarter mile from that point.

[Photos: Cedar Fire]

"Today's going to be a very pivotal day," said Navajo County Sheriff KC Clark. "If we get through today, I think we're going to be all right."

The American Red Cross Northern Arizona Chapter has relocated the shelter for Forestdale residents evacuated due to the wildfire to Snowflake High School at North Second Street West in Snowflake. The shelter was previously located at Snowflake Junior High but was moved to Snowflake High School to better accommodate the needs of evacuees.

A secondary evacuation shelter location is being set up at Round Valley Middle School, 126 W. Second St., in Eagar. At this time, it is not yet open.

According to DPS, U.S. 60 has been closed between milepost 337 and 318 due to the fire. There's no estimate on how long that stretch of road will be closed.

Timber Mesa Fire Marshall Kirk Webb said the 911 emergency system is being overloaded with calls asking about the Cedar Creek Fire. 

Webb said people wanting information on the fire should go to 311info.net or call 311 for up to date information on the fire.

Residents can receive emergency alerts by registering through Ready Navajo County at https://member.everbridge.net/index/453003085612436#/login.

Statement from Gov. Doug Ducey

"I have instructed my senior staff, the State Forester, the Department of Emergency and Military Affairs and the Department of Public Safety to provide all necessary support to local and federal agencies as they work to control the fire and protect the Pinetop-Lakeside, Show Low and White Mountain Apache communities from danger. This area has experienced severe wildfires before, so the state is on high alert given the additional risks posed by current weather conditions. Whether it's resources, support or backup, we stand at the ready to provide fire officials and our brave and talented first responders with all they need to safeguard Arizonans from this fire."

Copyright 2016 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.



Connect with CBS5AZ

 

Saw it on CBS 5 News
  • Social Connect

  • azfamily
Powered by Frankly