Two wildfires blazing in Arizona have burnt more than 150,000 acres of land, causing evacuations as firefighters battle around the clock to knock them out. In response to the wildfires that have ravaged two Arizona counties, Gov. Doug Ducey declared states of emergency on Wednesday.
The emergency declarations will provide up to $400,000 to first responders battling the Telegraph and Mescal fires in Pinal and Gila counties in central and southern Arizona, which have burnt over 146,000 acres.
According to Ducey's office, the Telegraph Fire, which ignited on Friday, has burnt 76,260 acres of property as of Wednesday morning. The National Wildfire Reporting Group's InciWeb incident reporting system confirms the fire is 21 percent contained with a projected containment date of June 20, The Washington Examiner reported.
Per AZGovernor, Ducey said in a statement, "Firefighters and safety authorities have been working around the clock to secure Arizonans, and we need to make sure they have the resources they need to properly combat the wildfires in Pinal and Gila Counties. I issued Declarations of Emergency to guarantee that those responders have the resources they need to safeguard people, pets, and property - and we'll continue to work closely with local officials to meet those communities' needs."
Today I’m issuing Declarations of Emergency in response to the #TelegraphFire and #MescalFire, which have burned 146K+ acres and led to many evacuations and road closures. Fire and safety officials are working around the clock to contain these dangerous fires. 1/
As of Wednesday morning, the Mescal Fire has burnt 70,067 acres in Gila County. The fire, which started on Tuesday, June 1, and is located south of US 70 between Globe and Peridot, has been assigned to an Interagency Type 2 Incident Management Team. The majority of the San Carlos Apache Reservation's evacuated people were permitted to return home yesterday, although State Route 77 and US 70 remain partially closed.
Arizonans are asked to do the following to help prevent fires:
- Make sure the trailer chains are not dragging as a single spark might cause a fire.
- Follow fire restrictions and practice responsible outdoor recreation - practically the whole state of Arizona is now under some form of fire restriction.
- Limit flammable items and plants within 100 feet of your house to be "fire-wise" and protect your home.
- Remember that flying a drone near a wildfire is both illegal and extremely dangerous.
Ducey requested fire management help from the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Sunday and it was granted. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the grant program offers a 75 percent federal cost share for fire control expenditures, with the seeking state paying the remaining 2 percent.
Arizona wildfires continue to grow, but residents are allowed to go home
Officials said Tuesday that two huge wildfires in eastern Arizona are still burning, but one of the blazes has made headway in lessening the threat to nearby communities. According to the Interagency Incident Information Center, the Telegraph Fire has burnt 71,756 acres and the Mescal Fire has burnt 66,913 acres.
While the Mescal Fire has spread since Monday, authorities on the San Carlos Apache Reservation have notified some people they can return homes. The fire has been put out to a third of its original size, and the reason is still being investigated, as per CNN.
The hot, dry weather will enhance the fire's spread, said the officials. The Telegraph Fire, which has been raging since last week, is still blazing. Officials believe the fire was set by a human, but the reason is still being investigated. Both fires have resulted in no deaths or injuries.