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US Arizona fires: The area around Telegraph and Mescal wildfires is so dry, firefighters' heavy equipment is causing small flareups

12:15  09 june  2021
12:15  09 june  2021 Source:   cnn.com

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The area near where two large wildfires have been growing for days in eastern Arizona is so dry that firefighters trying to tame the blaze have started fires sparked by their own equipment, officials said Tuesday.

a lot of smoke around it: Dry conditions have made the large fires in Arizona even harder to tame. © Mark Henle/The Republic/Imagn Content Services, LLC Dry conditions have made the large fires in Arizona even harder to tame.

The Telegraph Fire has burned more than 76,000 acres and the Mescal Fire has scorched more than 65,000 acres, according to the Interagency Incident Information Center.

"Even our own fire equipment is starting fires," said Dean McAlister, a fire information officer. "The blades and the tracks of the (heavy equipment) sparking against the fuels have actually created some fires along the fire line."

Arizona fires: Telegraph and Mecscal wildfires force evacuations and burn tens of thousands of acres

  Arizona fires: Telegraph and Mecscal wildfires force evacuations and burn tens of thousands of acres Two wildfires burning Sunday in the hills and mountains of eastern Arizona have scorched more than 60,000 acres and prompted evacuation orders for hundreds of people, officials said. © KNXV The Telegraph Fire burns in eastern Arizona on Saturday. One -- the Telegraph Fire -- has burned more than 34,300 acres in and near the southern edge of Tonto National Forest, some 60 miles east of Phoenix, since starting Friday afternoon, officials wrote on the national InciWeb wildfire information system.

In his Tuesday night update, McAlister added that crews have been able to put out those smaller fires as they happen, but they are asking people to keep their own vehicles away from the area to avoid their own accidental ignition.

The Telegraph Fire was 18% contained, according to according to the information center. The nearby Mescal wildfire was 23% contained.

McAlister expressed optimism to increase containment despite the dry conditions

"Things are looking fairly good for the situation we've got with the weather we've got," McAlister said.

The Telegraph Fire, which was detected by fire officials on Friday afternoon, has burned five structures so far, officials said Tuesday in a Facebook post.

"Fire managers had a busy day on the fire involving fire suppression and removal of members of the public that went into the fire closure area" officials said in the post.

Evacuations remain in place and residents are advised to monitor the Gila County Health and Emergency Management Facebook page for any changes to evacuation orders, officials said.

Authorities believe the fire was started by a person but are still investigating the cause. No deaths or injuries have been reported in either fire.

While the Mescal Fire has grown since Monday, authorities told some residents on the San Carlos Apache Reservation they could return home.

Ducey calls special session for fires while Arizona budget remains unfinished .
With a new state budget still in limbo, Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has called lawmakers into a session to “contain current wildfires, possible flooding, and any other natural disasters that arise from this emergency.” © Provided by Washington Examiner Ducey flew over the Telegraph fire via helicopter Thursday to survey the damage. In a news conference with House Speaker Rusty Bowers, R-Mesa; Rep. David Cook, R-Globe; and Sen. T.J. Shope, R-Coolidge, Ducey announced he was calling a special session. “We’re going to sit down in a bipartisan way with the leaders of the chambers and figure that out,” Ducey said.

usr: 10
This is interesting!