Tiger Fire: The Latest On The Wildfire Near Black Canyon City, Arizona

By Vaughan Jones, Jill Ryan, Jack Johnson, Tom Maxedon
Associated Press
Published: Sunday, July 4, 2021 - 11:31am
Updated: Saturday, July 10, 2021 - 3:32pm

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July 10: Recent Humidity, Storms Slowing Wildfire Growth

Storm clouds above the Tiger Fire
InciWeb
Storm clouds near the Tiger Fire on July 8, 2021.

Arizona is in its peak wildfire season, but recent storms and increased humidity have helped slow down growth on some fires.

Light fuels like grass, leaves, and pine needles are part of what keeps a wildfire burning. If relative humidity is low, those fuels are dry, and fire spreads quickly.

Tiger Fire spokesperson Debbie Maneely says the humidity and cloud cover provided by monsoon storms are extremely helpful in keeping light fuels damp.

“Once those fuels get a little bit damp, and then we keep that high humidity and the cloud cover, then it prevents the sun from drying those fuels out,” said Maneely.

The monsoon rains have even allowed sections of national forests and state lands to reopen, as they reduce the threat of wildfires in the area.

July 10: Tiger Fire Has Burned More Than 16,000 Acres

Tiger Fire
InciWeb
The Tiger Fire on July 8, 2021.

The Tiger Fire burning in the Prescott National Forest started June 30 after a lightning strike sparked the blaze. 

Fire spokesperson Debbie Maneely on Saturday said the fire has burned more than 16,000 acres and provided an update on the evacuation orders in the surrounding communities.

“They have lifted all evacuation status for the community of Black Canyon City and then we still have Horsethief Basin, in a ‘Go’ along with Lorena Gulch, and Crown King in a ‘Set’” she said.

A “Go” status means those communities are evacuated and a “Set” status means only members of a community are allowed in and out.

Low relative humidity combined with high temperatures and gusty winds are making it tough for firefighters to battle the blaze. 

July 8: Tiger Fire 29% Contained

The Tiger Fire
InciWeb
The Tiger Fire on July 6, 2021.

The Tiger Fire burning south of Prescott is now 29% contained.

Residents in the Crown King area, located south of Prescott, have been moved to “set” status as of Tuesday, which means homeowners should be ready to evacuate at a moment's notice. The fire is not yet in a location where an upgrade to "go" status is imminent. The Ready, Set, Go! program is used around the nation as the tier-system for wildfire evacuation preparedness.

Debbie Maneely, a fire information officer with the U.S. Forest Service, says the decision to upgrade the evacuation status was made because of potential danger risk.

“It was getting into a spot where, if it did make another push, it could move closer to Crown King. Obviously, we want to give people plenty of time to pack up their belongings and pets and get out of there in a safe manner," Maneely said.

Rain in the area has helped combat the fire in recent days, but firefighters believe more is needed to make a significant difference.

The Tiger Fire has now burned more than 13,000 acres as of Thursday.

July 5: Tiger Fire Forcing Some Evacuations

The Tiger Fire in central Arizona
Prescott National Forest
The Tiger Fire burns in the Castle Creek Wilderness area.

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office has ordered some cabins to be evacuated after a lightning-caused wildfire grew to more than 15 1/2 square miles. As of Monday, it has grown to nearly 12,000 acres.

Prescott National Forest officials said the wildfire is burning about 11 miles east of the community of Crown King with no containment.

Residents of Horsethief Basin were ordered to evacuate Sunday morning with nearby areas told to prepare for possible evacuations.

Nearly 160 firefighters were working the blaze that’s believed to have started Wednesday and was at 2.6 square miles as of Friday.

A Type 2 Management Team has been ordered due to outflow winds from thunderstorms near the wildfire. 

July 4: Tiger Fire Reaches 9,800 Acres

The Tiger Fire near Black Canyon City reached 9,800 acres as of Sunday morning. 

July 3: Tiger Fire Grows Near Black Canyon City With No Containment

The Tiger Fire near Black Canyon City in central Arizona has grown to over 5,500 acres with no containment.

Fire spokesperson Debbie Maneely says the fire is burning in the Castle Creek wilderness area, and firefighter safety is a top priority.July 3: Tiger Fire Grows Near Black Canyon City With No Containment

The Tiger Fire near Black Canyon City in central Arizona has grown to over 5,500 acres with no containment.

Fire spokesperson Debbie Maneely says the fire is burning in the Castle Creek wilderness area, and firefighter safety is a top priority.

“The Castle Creek wilderness is treacherous, it’s very steep terrain. We have to make sure wherever we put our firefighters it’s safe for them and they have a good escape route to get out,” said Maneely.

Maneely says the dryness of the climate is the number one reason for the fire’s quick growth, and the fire is surrounded by fuel on all sides.

Firefighters are predicting the fire will spread west, further into the Prescott National Forest.

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