FLAGSTAFF, Ariz — As another day on the frontlines of the Museum Fire, burning north of Flagstaff, wrapped up Monday night fire crews are facing several challenges.
Todd Abel, operations chief for the Type 1 Incident Management Team, said Tuesday morning, crews are having a tough time getting around the entire 1,800-acre fire.
A majority of their work Tuesday will be getting a perimeter around the fire and keeping it from spreading to homes, powerlines and other infrastructure in the area.
But it won't be easy. Abel said there is a lot of fuel for this fire to burn up and windy conditions keep it moving. And with unpredictable monsoon activity looming, there is also a concern about more wind, lightning and flash flooding.
Residents accessing homes from Mount Elden Lookout Road were told Monday to evacuate as crews work to keep a wildfire from coming into their neighborhoods. More than two dozen homes are affected by the evacuation order.
Coconino County officials said all residents east of Weatherford Road with access on Mount Elden Lookout Road are included in the evacuation notice.
The Red Cross has opened a shelter at Sinagua Middle School near Butler Avenue and Fourth Street. If you need normal pet sheltering, contact the Coconino Humane Association at 928-526-1076 or 928-606-5056. Do not call 911 unless you have a serious emergency.
In the map above, the areas in green are being evacuated. People who live in the areas shaded yellow need to be prepared for a potential evacuation.
The Museum Fire wildfire burning north of Flagstaff has grown to 1,800 acres after a "very active" night, fire officials say. The fire broke out around 11 a.m. on Sunday.
It is burning about a mile north of Flagstaff. The City of Flagstaff and Coconino County have declared emergencies because of the fire.
The emergency declaration frees up funding to use in response to the wildfire. It also allows the city and county to seek financial assistance from the state.
Rain in the area Monday evening should help crews working to contain the fire.
The fire is burning in the Dry Lake Hills area northwest of Mount Elden. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.
More than a dozen aircrafts flanked the fire with retardant and water to limit the fire's spread north and south. Hand crews worked to create a fire line after spotting was noted toward the east.
Crews worked to keep the fire east and south of Forest Road 420 (Schultz Pass Road), west of U.S. Highway 89 and north of the Pipeline Road and those communities.
The Type 1 Southwest Area Incident Management Team 2 assumed command of operations related to the Museum Fire at 6 p.m. Monday.
Smoke is visible from Flagstaff and other local communities.
Coconino County officials previously ordered people recreating in the area of Schultz Pass Road and Dry Lake Hills to evacuate.
A pre-evacuation notice had been issued for Mt. Elden Lookout Estates, north and west of Highway 89 and Silver Saddle, Hutcheson Acres, McCann Estates and all of the Timberline communities, including Black Bill Park, Wupatki Trails and Pine Mountain Estates.
ON YOUTUBE: Sky 12 over the Museum Fire near Flagstaff
Residents in those areas were asked to pack emergency items, have resources to sustain them for 72 hours and stay aware of the latest updates about the fire.
All areas, including the upper eastside neighborhoods of Flagstaff like Cedar Hills, Shadow Mountain, Christmas Tree, Skyline, Swiss Manor and Upper Greenlaw, should be in the “Ready” stage.
Fire crews were planning to conduct burnout operations Sunday night between Mt. Elden Lookout Road and the southern portion of Brookbank Trail.
Officials say the public should use extreme caution when driving on U.S. Highways 180 and 89 north of Flagstaff as firefighting vehicles will be responding to the area north of Flagstaff.
About 200 fire personnel are responding to the Museum Fire.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.