Flagstaff Fire Department

Four people were injured in an explosion at the Nestlé Purina plant in Flagstaff late Sunday afternoon. As Arizona Public Radio’s Ryan Heinsius reports, two are now listed in good condition at the Arizona Burn Center in Phoenix.

The southwest as a region has the highest number of homeless people in the nation.  

A desperate economy and rising temperatures have forced more people who are homeless to take shelter in the cooler national forests, like the San Bernardino in southern California and the Coconino in northern Arizona. Forest officials are concerned -- more people in the woods means more wildfires.  

Two summers ago, a homeless man living in the Flagstaff woods sparked a fire that threatened 170 homes. 

Gladiator Fire Update

May 16, 2012
Zac Ziegler

The Gladiator fire has been ablaze for over three days, and has burned over 2,000 acres. 

The good news is progress is being made.  It is now 5% contained.

Winds continue to blow from the southeast through the Bradshaw Mountains, pushing the fire to the north and northwest. 

This is slowing the spread towards Crown King, but expediting the spread towards the communication towers on Tower Mountain.

The National Weather Service is forecasting winds that will continue to gust over 25 miles per hour until at least Saturday. 

The Gladiator fire near the community of Crown King has more than doubled in size since Monday afternoon.

The fire now stands at more than 1,300 acres and is still at 0% containment.

The fire has more than doubled in size since last report.

This has led to the calling in of a Type I national incident management team.

A Type I team means a group of the most highly trained personnel are now on the scene managing the crisis.

A meeting will be held for all residents at 6 p.m tonight at Mayer High School.

Warm, windy weather is raising the fire danger in the Mountain West.

Red flag warnings were in effect Thursday for much of western Colorado and the San Luis Valley as well as parts of Wyoming, Utah, Arizona, Nevada and New Mexico.

In western Colorado, the National Weather Service said wind gusts could reach up to 35 mph before the threat is expected to subside Friday afternoon. Humidities are also expected to drop below 15 percent there, making it easier for fires to spread.

The agency warns that simple burns on farms or ranches could easily get out of control.