Hot dry weather fuels Cedar Fire's run south
Fueled by high temperatures and low humidity, the Cedar Fire grew 14,000 acres on Sunday, burning through hundreds of acres southwest of Pinetop-Lakeside, in Arizona's White Mountains. A pre-evacuation notice was given to area residents, and power lines were switched off to protect firefighters.
Fire lines continued to hold the blaze away from Highway 60, however, high temperatures and low humidity fueled the fire's run south, as it chewed through thousands of acres through Sunday night, officials said.
Overall, the fire has burned nearly 27,000 acres of timber and brush.
The fire is expected to grow in the next two days, as the humidity levels remains low, and maximum temperatures in the summer hideaways of Show Low and Pinetop and expected to remain in the upper 90s.
Incident managers said they were working with White Mountain Apache Tribal Police and the tribe's leadership to keep community members up to date on the fire's movements.
According to Inciweb, a fire incident tracking system, the fire's perimeter extended directly south and east of Highway 60 crossing the boundary between Gila and Navajo counties, while the eastern edge of the fire crossed over the Cedar Creek drainage. The southern tip of the fire is less than two miles east of Highway 73, just north of Cedar Creek.
Residents of Cedar Creek were given a pre-evacuation notice, and officials announced that people who wished to evacuate on Monday could retreat to Eagar Round Valley Dome or Snowflake High School. However, the shelter at Snowflake High School will be moved Tuesday to Holbrook, about 29 miles north, officials said.
Those with animals can take livestock to the Taylor Rodeo Grounds or the Holbrook Fair Grounds, while small animals, including dogs and cats, can be taken to Eagar Animal Control
On Monday afternoon, the Navopache Electric Cooperative announced that they were shutting down power lines that serve Cibecue, Cedar Creek, and Carrizo to protect firefighters as they conducted burnout operations near the power lines, burning areas of vegetation in an effort to starve the wildfire of fuel.
More than 770 personnel are working to fight the fire, including 23 fire crews and engines, bulldozers and water tenders, and 11 aircraft, including 7 helicopters and four single-engine air tankers.