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Northern Arizona Fire Burns Several Homes, Forces Many To Evacuate

An overhead view of firefighting activities above the Tinder Fire.

A wildfire forced 10 northern Arizona communities to evacuate Sunday night. An unknown number of structures have burned, many of them homes.

The Tinder Fire, as it's called, started Friday near the small community of Clints Well. Public Information Officer Brian Scott said the blaze took off Sunday growing from 500 acres to 8,000 acres in a day.

"You get a combination of high winds and receptive fuels in a drainage that aligns with the wind that's just a recipe for significant fire growth," Scott said.

Strong wind gusts are expected to last through Tuesday. A Sheriff's Office spokesman said they notified 1,000 residents of the evacuation. About 60 percent of the homes that were evacuated are considered vacation homes. Highway 87 remains closed Monday.

More than 500 firefighters are battling the blaze. Forest Service officials are still investigating the cause of the fire.

Laurel Morales was a senior field correspondent at KJZZ from 2011 to 2020.