Tinder Fire Evacuees Return as Crews Report Increased Containment

May 4, 2018

About 600 residents evacuated during the Tinder Fire are being allowed to return today, some to heavily damaged or destroyed homes. KNAU’s Ryan Heinsius reports, the fire is now 48 percent contained and has burned 12,628 acres.

Part of the burned area from the Tinder Fire
Credit APS

The Tinder Fire destroyed about 30 homes along with other structures in the Blue Ridge community near Clint’s Well. This morning Coconino County Sheriff’s officials allowed residents who lost homes to reenter the area to survey the damage. Other evacuees are being allowed to return throughout the day.

"This is a difficult day for some of them to go back in and see a lot of their homes and memories are gone. The county’s mission is not over yet. There will be cleanup going on days after this trying to return it back to the normal state," says Jon Paxton with the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.

Paxton says residents should be aware of possible scams during the cleanup, and all contractors should be fully vetted before they’re hired.

In addition, transportation officials will reopen State Route 87 tonight after all the residents have been allowed to return.

Firefighters are continuing to strengthen containment lines and conduct burnout operations ahead of warm, dry conditions expected in the coming days.