Cedar Creek Fire south of Show Low grows to 1000+ acres

Cedar Creek Fire south of Show Low grows to 1000+ acres”

The so-called Cedar Creek Fire was reported midday Wednesday and has since grown to 12.5 square miles.

Wind gusts of 35 mph pushed the fire burning brush and ponderosa pine to 1.5 square miles within three hours and almost 4 square miles by 5 p.m. Residents in five communities were put on pre-evacuation alert.

The firefighter reportedly tripped on a rock in the rough terrain and suffered a head injury. Officials said crews conducted back burning to stop fire progression, which caused additional smoke.

Firefighting aircraft took to the skies Thursday, a day after high winds that kept them grounded died down.

Though crews made "good strides" fighting the Cedar Creek Fire overnight, Navajo County officials said they were unsure whether containment efforts would prevent evacuations. It was about 5 percent contained by 6:30 p.m.

"It is common for lightning-caused fires to show up days later, these are called holdover lightning fires", Rechsteiner said.

She says winds are pushing the fire to the northeast and ground crews are stationed throughout the perimeter.

County officials told residents in Show Low, Pinetop-Lakeside and three other communities Wednesday to prepare for possible evacuations, but Wolfe says Show Low's west side is the area that likely would affected initially if evacuations are necessary.

A pre-evacuation notice has been issued for the following areas: Show Low, Pinetop, Lakeside, Hondah, McNary and the White River Indian Reservation. The shelter was previously located at Snowflake Junior High but was moved to Snowflake High School to better accommodate the needs of evacuees.

In eastern Arizona, a small community was evacuated and residents of five others were told to prepare to leave after a wind-whipped wildfire charred almost 4 square miles within hours Wednesday.

Santa Barbara County fire Capt. Dave Zaniboni says the danger to the facility is minimal Thursday.

The wildfire is one of several burning in Western states, including New Mexico, Arizona and Nevada.



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