Fast-Moving Arizona Wildfire Near College Town Doubles In Size In 24-Hours

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Apr 20, 2022 - 05:30 PM

A fast-moving wildfire exploded in size overnight into Wednesday, burning north of Flagstaff, Arizona, along Highway 89, which has forced local officials to declare a State of Emergency. 

Named the Tunnel Fire, the blaze is 14 miles northeast of Flagstaff in Coconino County. AP reports the "wildfire doubled in size" since Tuesday to more than 16,600 acres this morning. 

Fox Weather said the wildfire spread 10,000 acres in 24 hours. 

The fire was first reported Sunday afternoon and was at 0% containment this morning. At least 750 homes have been evacuated. 

Coconino National Forest spokesman Brady Smith told AP the wildfire is moving northeast away from Flagstaff and Northern Arizona University. 

"It's good in that it's not headed toward a very populated area, and it's headed toward less fuel," Smith said. "But depending on the intensity of the fire, fire can still move across cinders."

Footage posted on Twitter shows massive columns of smoke and flames quickly moving across the drought-stricken region. 

Much of the US West is experiencing severe to extreme drought conditions. The fire is no surprise as half the country has experienced one of the worst megadroughts in 1,200 years.  

New forecasts by federal government meteorologists may suggest drought conditions could worsen as there's a 59% chance of La Niña for the Northern Hemisphere through summer. What this would mean is drier conditions that could spark even more wildfires.