Show, Arizona – The state of Arizona is on alert due to a new wildfire that started burning before noon on Wednesday. The Cedar Creek Fire is now burning in the White Mountain Apache Indian Reservation, 12 miles south of Show Low.
According to officials, the fire started at noon, but by 4:30 p.m. the fire had grown 2,500 acres and has been classified as a Type 1 fire which indicates the highest risk.
At this time, no evacuations have been ordered. It is unknown what caused the fire. Huge plumes of smoke are visible miles away in the Show Low area. Although no evacuations have been ordered at this time, it has been commissioned a pre-evacuation for Show Low, Pinetop, Lakeside, Fort Apache, Hon Dah and McNary and surrounding areas.
Officials ask people to be ready to evacuate on short notice. BIA officials have told The Independent the B65 Road is the trigger point for evacuation of Show Low, not just Forestdale. The fire is currently 4 miles from the trigger point. Timber Mesa Fire Marshall Kirk Webb said the 911 emergency system was now being overloaded with calls asking about the Cedar Creek Fire.
He said people should go to 311info.net or call 311 for up-to-date information on the fire. 911 is a real emergency. Do not call 911 unless it is a real emergency, he said.
— 12 News (@12News) June 15, 2016
Wmicentral.com – a White Mountain online newspaper – said that Navopache Electric Cooperative is cutting electricity to the communities of Forestdale, Cibecue, Carrizo and Cedar Creek in other to help crew access the fire and prevent safety issues with power poles in the area.
Stopping the wildfire
Navajo County Chief Deputy James Molesa reports that the Cedar Creek Fire is at 1,000 acres 10 miles west of Show Low and that The U.S. Forest Service and the Bureau of Indian Affairs have ordered two Type 2 Engines, and they have already had several air assists and water drops and plan more.
To stop fire progression at Show Low, officials say crews will be conducting back-burning, but that will also be causing new smoke. Winds are supposed to be a factor in the spread of the flames.
It is said the fire is moving in a northerly direction in rugged terrain. According to DPS, U.S. 60 has been closed between milepost 337 and 318 due to the fire; they say there’s no estimate how long that stretch of road will be closed. An air tanker is on scene dropping fire retardant. About 80 personnel are fighting the fire.
— Shaun (@Shaun_Kulish) June 16, 2016
Source: WMI Central