Arizona governor declares state of emergency as wildfires char more than 20K acres

Western Wildfires
Posted at 7:06 AM, Apr 22, 2022

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. — Firefighters battling a half-dozen wildfires in the Southwest are bracing for the return of ferocious winds.

More than 500 firefighters are manning fire lines in Arizona and New Mexico and more help is on the way.

The largest type of management team plans to take command of resources Friday at one of the biggest, most dangerous fires near Flagstaff., where the Tunnel Fire has grown to nearly 20,200 acres.

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey has declared a state of emergency as a result.

More than 700 homes and 1,000 homes have been evacuated, ABC15 in Phoenix reports.

At least 30 homes have burned.

A brief break in the weather allowed crews to launch aerial attacks on some of the fires Thursday.

But that's unlikely Friday. Forest Service officials in New Mexico say there's “high confidence" a widespread extreme and catastrophic fire weather event will occur with sustained winds up to 50 miles per hour.