Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Arizona's Tinder Fire Sparked by Illegal Campfire, Officials Say

By Sean Breslin

8 hours ago

At a Glance

  • A large wildfire in north-central Arizona was started by an abandoned illegal campfire, authorities said.
  • Dubbed the Tinder Fire, the blaze has destroyed several structures, officials said.
  • About 1,000 Coconino County homes were ordered to evacuate as the flames moved quickly.
A wildfire burning in north-central Arizona was sparked by an abandoned campfire in an area where burning was banned because of the dangerous fire conditions, officials said.

By Wednesday morning, the so-called Tinder Fire had burned nearly 18 square miles in Arizona's Coconino National Forest. The inferno remains 0 percent contained, and rapid growth near residential areas forced officials to evacuate about 1,000 homes in several Coconino County neighborhoods, the Arizona Republic said.

So far, authorities said 30 structures were burned by the blaze, but they didn't say where those buildings were, or if they were homes.

Sheltered at either a local casino or a nearby fairground, evacuees shared their stories of fleeing the fire while they waited for more information about where the destroyed homes were located. Needless to say, the inferno is a big topic of conversation and any time someone in the shelters or local restaurants have any information, others are interested to hear it.

"Ultimately, Mother Nature is in charge, but you don’t want to lose what you worked a long time for," Gina Lindsey, who owns a home in Chandler, told the Arizona Republic.

Nearly 600 firefighters and personnel are assigned to battle the Tinder Fire, which was sparked east of Clints Well on Friday.

A state of emergency was approved Monday by Gov. Doug Ducey.

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