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

High winds and dry conditions have fueled the Goodwin Fire, forcing several communities to evacuate.

DEWEY, Ariz. – Several communities were under mandatory evacuation orders Tuesday because of the Goodwin Fire which had grown to over 18,000 acres and was one percent contained, according to the U.S. Forest Service.

By Tuesday night, evacuation orders were in place for the area north of the Goodwin-Mayer Road/County Road 177, and west of Highway 69, from Mayer to south of Poland Junction.  This did not include areas east of Highway 69.

Marlene Miner said the scene was frightening.

“That’s what bothered me the most, was seeing the wall of smoke and fire and flame and the orange glow all just behind my home and that’s what I found so frightening. I could actually feel the heat,” Miner said.

Marlene Miner’s granddaughter, Synthia Miner, rushed toward the burning threat to reconnect with her family.

“Honestly, I turned this off and hit my gas and flew home,” Sythia Miner described, looking at her cellphone.

First responders rushed to fight the fire and evacuate people in the path of the flames. Team 12’s photojournalist, Carlos Chavez, caught up with Richard Stern as he was being evacuated in Mayer. The order came after the evacuations of Pine Flat and Breezy Pines earlier in the week.  Poland Junction and Chaparral Hills were evacuated Tuesday evening.

As the flames devoured anything in their path, growing by the second, Stern focused on what mattered most to him.

“I’ll be safe, you know.  It’s just a house. I just get the important stuff and to hell with the rest,” Stern said.

Josie Longo fled with her brother’s horses. She was watching them while he was on vacation.

“We’ve all been praying and this is terrifying,” Longo said.

Rick Bleau of the Valley stopped to see the fire while on his way to northern Arizona. He was having flashbacks to the 2013 Yarnell Hill Fire.

“I just pray to God that something like that doesn’t happen here ‘cause we lost 19 firefighters then,” Bleau said.

Crews battling the ferocious flames made it to and from their post, resting up to keep facing what most run from.

People forced to evacuate can head to the new shelter at Bradshaw Mountain High School at 6000 E. Long Look Dr. in Prescott Valley. Pets are welcome there too.

The Public Information Officer for the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office, Dwight D’Evelyn, said  those with livestock can take their animals to the Coors Center at the Prescott Valley Fairgrounds.

Investigators said the fire was human caused and started Saturday.

© 2017 KPNX-TV


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