Arizona Governor Doug Ducey Declares a State of Emergency for Pipeline Fire

Arizona Governor Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency Thursday for the Pipeline Fire burning in Coconino County.

“Public safety is our top priority,” Ducey said. “As state and local fire officials work to contain the blaze, our office will ensure emergency officials have the resources to respond to and recover from the fire’s scars. We will continue to work with our partners on the ground to provide all support necessary to mitigate the fire and protect people, pets and property. We continue to pray for the safety of all firefighters and first responders who are battling hot and windy conditions. For a community still recovering from the path of the Tunnel Fire in April, this new blaze is a reminder for all Arizonans to be vigilant and safe this wildfire season.”

The declaration makes $200,000 from the general fund available to the Director of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management.

Arizona State Representative Walt Blackman (R-Flagstaff) made a statement yesterday addressing the Pipeline Fire.

“My thoughts and prayers go out to the families in Coconino County affected by the Pipeline Fire, as well as to the brave firefighting crews and personnel who are courageously working to bring it under control,” Blackman said in a press release. “In addition to monitoring this situation closely, I will be reaching out to the Governor’s office to recommend a declaration of a state of emergency if conditions worsen.”

Blackman represents the 6th Legislative District, which includes portions of Coconino County where the fire burns.

The Pipeline Fire was first reported on Sunday morning, six miles north of Flagstaff in the San Francisco Peaks, and has since claimed over 24,000 acres of land. There is currently 452 personnel working on its containment, which is at 27 percent.

Areas such as O’ Leary, Crater Estates, and Arizona Snowbowl currently have a “GO” status, which means residents must evacuate immediately.

Coconino County tweeted a guide to evacuation statuses.

On Monday, Flagstaff Mayor Paul made a Declaration of Emergency for the Pipeline Fire.

“The City [Flagstaff] has exhausted all available resources and is requiring assistance from Coconino County, the State of Arizona, and the federal government to assist in the management of this incident [Pipeline Fire] and any of the potential post-fire flood consequences,” according to the declaration.

According to Arizona’s Family, 57-year-old Matthew Riser may be the cause of the fire. He was arrested on Sunday while driving away from the fire in a white pickup truck. Riser, who said he was homeless and camping in the forest, admitted to lighting toilet paper on fire. He reportedly did not see the “no campfire” sign when driving out to the woods.

Pine, grass, and brush all contribute fuel to the fire. Years of drought in northern Arizona have left the area with dry forests that burn easily.

NWS Flagstaff tweeted a time-lapse video of the fire.

Furthermore, the Pipeline Fire is not the only wildfire burning near Flagstaff.

Two wildfires, the Haywire and Double Fires, merged on Monday and have subsequently been managed as the Haywire Fire, which burns 7.5 miles northeast of Doney Park. A lightning strike is the suspected cause of the wildfire. The Haywire Fire has burned over 5,000 acres and is 11 percent contained, with 55 personnel attending to it.

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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Arizona Fire” by Sedona Fire.



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