June 20, 2010 by USA Post
Flagstaff Fire — Associated Press – Flagstaff, Ariz. – A wildfire burning near downtown Flagstaff Saturday prompted evacuations of homes and a hotel to be feared in the path of the fire and sent smoke through parts of the city, causing movement to save on Interstate 40, authorities said.
The fire broke out at about 1:30 p.m. behind the popular Little America Hotel, near the motorway, the city of Flagstaff spokeswoman Kimberly Ott said. It quickly made its way up the hill and threatened homes in two neighborhoods in burning between 400 and 600 acres.
ordered the evacuation of nearly 200 homes remained in place Saturday night because of heavy smoke and concerns about road safety, fire spokeswoman Karen Malis-Clark said.
About 16 families have checked in a temporary shelter in a school, American Red Cross Kelli Young said the spokesman. Sixty animals of the Coconino Humane Society were moved to another shelter north of the city.
No structures had burned and no injuries were reported.
The sounds of helicopters and air tankers were buzzing Saturday night as general fire retardant and water were dropped on the fire, to assist ground crews.
Winds estimated at 35 mph earlier in the day had calmed by nightfall, and firefighters were looking to take advantage of this and higher humidity overnight. Flames had shot up to 10 feet in the air earlier in the day had fallen to 3 feet.
“I hope that tonight she will fix enough for us to get a handle on it,” Flagstaff Fire Capt. Mark Johnson said.
Authorities were questioning a person on fire, but the spokesman Coconino County Sheriff Gerry Blair said that person was not considered a suspect.
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