A wildlands fire burning near Schultz Pass has consumed more than 5,000 acres in less than a day.
The fire was reported around 11 a.m. near Forest Service Road 420 -- Schultz Pass Road -- and grew quickly as it was fanned by the wind. More than 300 firefighters have reponded.
Officials evacuated Horse Camp along Forest Service Road 556, along with have evacuated more than a thousand homes in nearby Timberline and Wupatki Trails neigborhoods on the west side of Highway 89. Sunset Crater and Wupatki national monuments are closed and have been evacuated.
Officials have issued a pre-notice for evacuation in Fernwood on the east side of Highway 89. Police are warning residents not to evacuate unless told to do so by uniformed personnel. Reports have come in from the Jo-Don neighborhood, which is not currently under evacuation order, that a couple is telling residents to evacuate with the possible intent of burglarizing the empty houses.
Those evacuated can report to Mount Elden Middle School where a temporary Red Cross Shelter has been set up.
The Coconino National Forest has brought in eight airtankers to help fight the fire, along with five air attack helicopters. But high winds grounded the tankers from 1:30 to 7 p.m.
A regional Type I Incident Management Team is expected to take over operations later today.
No structures have been damaged damaged or destroyed, and no injuries were reported.
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Northbound Highway 89 is closed at Silver Saddle Road. Southbound Highway 89 is closed two and half miles north of Sunset Crater.
Coconino National Forest officials will meet Monday to consider imposing fire and use restrictions on the forest, but they have no plans at this time to shut it down.
Fire officials have lifted the evacuation order for all neighborhoods affected by the Hardy Fire in Flagstaff south of I-40. That fire is considered 25 percent contained.
Animals inside the Second Chance Center in Doney Park, including animals moved the night before from the Coconino Humane Association as a result of the Hardy Fire, were moved to Fort Tuthill. Displaced residents can take their animals to the Fort Tuthill barn area for temporary boarding. Volunteers are stationed to assist.
The phone number to call for evacuation information: 1-888-679-8393.
State public safety officials are suggesting alternative routes of State Route 64 through the east entrance to the South Rim of the Grand Canyon National Park (however, no commercial vehicles are permitted in the park), or State Route 160 through Tuba City to State Route 264 to State Route 87 onto Interstate 40.
National Park personnel will not charge motorists who advise they are on a detour route. Travelers who choose not to take one of these alternative routes may stay at the Red Cross Shelter at Mount Elden Middle School located at the northwest corner of Linda Vista and Fourth Street in Flagstaff.