A wildfire has claimed more than 1000 acres in the Yavapai County. Due to the excess of existing fuel and the conditions of the wind, the Sheriff’s Office issued a mandatory evacuation for around 15 homes nearby the flames. The authorities have also closed Interstate 17 which is slowly affecting the traffic in the area. However, a couple of optional routes have been made available. The Mayer High school is serving as a shelter where animal service also provides accommodations for pets.
The firefighters have not determined the cause of the fire, but they are concerned about the weather prognostic. Thunderstorms and gusty winds are expected to hit the area in the next hours which could change the direction of the wildfire thus severely complicating the situation. According to the Bureau of Land Management spokesman, these factors forced the authorities to issue the evacuation orders.
The fire was first spotted around 8:00 A.M and the Yavapai County Fire Department dispatched units to assess the situation. However, the nicknamed “Bug Creek Fire” quickly got out of hand due to the winds, and the amount of available bushes that worked as the perfect fuel for the flames to move in all directions. Accordingly, the authorities sent heavy machinery to support the men dealing with the situation in the land. A couple of airplanes have been seen dumping water on the fire, and helicopters are patrolling the area.
The traffic has been heavily affected by the fire
— Troy Hayden (@troyhaydenfox10) June 29, 2016
The Interstate 17 at Cordes Junction was totally inaccessible, so the Arizona Transportation is making easier for both car and motor drivers to move through the State Route 87 to SR 260, west to Camp Verde and North on I-17. However, the authorities re-opened the interstate in the afternoon. The inhabitants of the areas at the West of Cordes Lake Drive have received a pre-evacuation notification. The people are already taking precautions in the case they have to flee the fire.
A group of Arizona’s fire departments has joined forces to deal with the Bug Creek Fire before it reaches populated areas. According to the reports, they are using four airplanes to dump massive amounts of water on the flames including a colossal air tanker, two standard air tankers, and a single engine air tanker. As of now, there 75 members of the fire departments dealing with the situation answering to Commander C. Stevens.
— InciWeb (@inciweb) June 28, 2016
According to official reports, the Bug Creek Fire is only one of the thirty-three active wildfires in Arizona. Some of them are of no concern such as the Skeleton Fire that has claimed merely 90 acres or the Penasco Fire which has consumed 50 acres. However, the Bert Wildfire has eaten more than 5000 acres, and the Juniper fire has consumed around 30,000 acres.
The Arizona Fire Department Office has been advising hitchhikers to stay at home due to the high temperatures, and that is probably the reason for the amount of incidents the firefighters are dealing with.