Goodwin Fire has burned 21,000 acres; state of emergency declared

Fire crews say they have made improvements on containing the Goodwin fire. Thursday is a crucial day in the wildfire battle as winds die down.

The massive Goodwin Fire continues to grow as its flames relentlessly consume dry fuel in the Prescott National Forest.

LATEST FROM THURSDAY: Goodwin Fire has burned just under 25,000 acres

The evacuation orders from the Goodwin Fire were extended Tuesday and the flames had grown to over 20,000 acres as of Wednesday morning.

An evacuation was ordered for the west side of Highway 69 in Dewey Wednesday. Walker, Chauncey Ranch Road, Blue Hills, Potato Patch, Mountain Pine Acres were also placed under evacuation. Mayer, Chaparral Hills and Poland Junction were evacuated Tuesday.

Pre-evacuations were announced for Orme School, Dewey-Humboldt, and Mt. Union.

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Gov. Doug Ducey declared a State of Emergency for Yavapai County, directing $200,000 to fire suppression efforts.

"We do know there has been some structures lost. The count on that is unknown, undetermined at this time." Incident Commander John Pierson said Wednesday. "We still are actively engaged in fighting fire in some areas it's not safe for us to get that accurate assessment."

Tuesday night, the fire created a smoke cloud big enough to be seen from downtown Phoenix.

 

What we know

• The Goodwin Fire is burning about 14 miles south of Prescott.

• Officials said Wednesday their priority is focused on the Highway 69 corridor.

• Structures have been lost, officials said, but it's not known what type or how many.

• Gov. Doug Ducey called it the state's "top priority right now."

“I want the residents of Yavapai County to know the Goodwin Fire is the state of Arizona’s top priority right now, and we remain fully engaged on the ground with our partners. Not only do our hearts go out to those who have been displaced, but our attention and resources are focused heavily on containing the fire and protecting property and lives. My office is receiving real-time updates from the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, which is coordinating with local, regional and federal fire officials. As always, we are indebted to the firefighters, first responders and local community leaders who are managing and fighting this fire, as well as the many other fires throughout the state right now. The next 24 hours will be critical, and the state will provide whatever support and resources are necessary to assist firefighters and residents in the region.”

• The fire is situated between Mayer and Dewey-Humboldt and the front lines are blowing northeast.

• Investigators said it's human caused and started Saturday near Pine Flat.

• The flames were just 1 percent contained as of Wednesday afternoon.

• There were 1,000 personnel providing air and ground support as of Wednesday afternoon.

READ: How can you help?

• Fire crews battling the flames are working with "explosive" fuels, according to Arizona forestry officials.

• According to Incident Commander John Pierson, there has been one known minor injury as a result of the fire.

• Wednesday afternoon, a drone flying in the area forced authorities to ground all firefighting aircraft.

• Gusty winds are creating dangerous conditions.

• Pre-evacuations were issued for Orme School, Dewey-Humboldt, Blue Hills and Mt. Union and an evacuation was order for the west side of Highway 69 in Dewey Wednesday -- adding to the evacuations that were ordered for Mayer, Chaparral Hills and Poland Junction Tuesday.

• The Breezy Pines subdivision, the area north of Goodwin-Mayer Road and west of Highway 69 from Mayer to Poland Junction are also under evacuation.

• An evacuation had already been ordered for the community of Pine Flat.

Friendly Pines Camp is self-evacuating. Parents should pick up their campers between 8:30 a.m. and noon Thursday. It's not clear if other camps in the forest are evacuating.

• As of Wednesday, all of the evacuations ordered Tuesday remain in place.

• Highway 69 remains closed from I-17 to SR-169 as of  Wednesday afternoon. ADOT suggests using SR-89 as an alternate route.

• According to officials, 3,000 structures are at risk in the evacuation area with 2,000 residents affected.

• As of Tuesday, Bradshaw Mountain High School in Prescott Valley was being used as a shelter for displaced people. 

READ: 'I could actually feel the heat': Residents flee homes as Goodwin Fire grows

 

• Heavy smoke reported in Flagstaff, Sedona and the surrounding areas, according to officials.

 

MORE: 5 things you can do to protect your home from wildfires

• APS said some of its customers in Prescott, Mayer and Dewey have lost power because of the fire. The company said lines were powered down in areas around the fire at the request of fire officials.

• For those in the area of the fire who don't have landlines, you can sign up for emergency alerts on the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office website.

• Yavapai County has set up a 24-hour information line for those who have questions about the fire at 928-442-5103.

PHOTOS: Goodwin Fire near Prescott continues to burn

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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