FLAGSTAFF, Arizona (AP) — Evacuations are in effect in parts of northern Arizona as a wildfire about 6 miles (9 kilometers) north of Flagstaff steadily grew, authorities said.
Coconino National Forest officials said the Pipeline Fire was reported on Sunday morning by a fire lookout and had burned approximately 4,000-5,000 acres (16-20 square kilometers) by late Sunday, pushing about 15 miles (24 kilometers).
In connection with the fire, Forest Service law enforcement said they have arrested and charged a 57-year-old man with natural resource violations. The cause of the wildfire wasn’t immediately known.
Coconino County Sheriff’s officials said the Arizona Snowbowl ski resort and people living in the area of the west Schultz Pass Road must evacuate. People living in Doney Park and the area near Mt. Elden should be prepared.
Wind gusts were sweeping the smoke through Schultz Pass toward Doney Park and authorities said recreationists were being told to leave immediately, especially those in the Schultz Pass area.
The American Red Cross Arizona opened a shelter at Sinagua Middle School for residents who evacuated.
Authorities said 13 engines, nine crews, six prevention patrol units, three bulldozers and one water tender were involved in fighting the fire. An Incident Management Team was scheduled to arrive Monday.
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The Arizona Department of Transportation has closed U.S. Route 89. The department said in a Twitter post that there is no estimated time to reopen the road