Flag Fire south of Kingman grows to 1,400 acres
KINGMAN – Strong and gusty winds challenged firefighters battling the Flag Fire in the Hualapai Mountains the night of Sunday, April 25, with the fire now affecting approximately 1,400 acres.
The Flag Fire began at approximately 2 p.m. Sunday, with the cause still under investigation. Fed by strong, gusty winds the flames spread rapidly, sending up large columns of smoke visible from Kingman.
The community of Pine Lake, Mohave-County owned Hualapai Mountain Park and the surrounding areas were evacuated Sunday afternoon. Atherton Acres and Pinion Pine communities are currently on SET status for evacuations. That means evacuations are imminent for the areas and that residents should start preparations.
“The fire is located south of Kingman in the Hualapai Mountains and was pushed through the night by strong and gusty winds that challenged firefighters through the night,” explained Dolores Garcia, public information officer with the Bureau of Land Management’s Arizona office.
A helicopter performed reconnaissance of the fire Monday morning, resulting in an increase in reported affected acreage from 600 acres to 1,000 acres, and then finally to 1,400 acres. No structures have been lost.
“Firefighters worked through the night to extinguish spot fires that did get dangerously close to structures,” Garcia said, noting those efforts continue utilizing natural features where possible to slow fire activity.
The Kingman area experienced Red Flag fire conditions on Sunday.
“Strong, gusty winds continuous with low relative humidity allowed the fire to grow very rapidly,” Garcia explained. “Through today, we’re expecting to experience some strong winds with gusts, not anywhere near what we were experiencing yesterday. We’re also expecting an increase in humidity with a chance for rain. That will definitely help to give firefighters a hand in moderating the fire behavior and potentially increasing some containment.”
Garcia said when talking about wildfires, the question is not if, but when.
“The conditions right now are extremely dry,” she said. “What we’re seeing is very similar to what we would normally see later into June or July for this area. So we’re asking everybody to be extremely careful if they work or recreate outdoors. Now is the time for wildfires, and now is the time to prepare.”
On that note, she said residents of Atherton Acres and Pinion Pine should take heed of their SET status.
“They should be ready, having their papers, prescriptions and pets packed up and ready to go for when they do receive notification from the sheriff’s office,” Garcia said.
Garcia also encouraged the public to sign up for the emergency notification system “CodeRed.”
“It’s like a reverse 911 that will contact you and inform you of any emergencies in your neighborhood,” she said.
For additional information or resources, go to InciWeb at https://bit.ly/3nmniAm.
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