Morning schedule: Friday July 2
It’s Friday July 2.
Along with the rain, fires caused by lightning remain a concern
Crews responded to three lightning-triggered fires in northern Arizona on Wednesday, according to Prescott National Forest.
Grief Fire was confirmed at 1/4 acre about six miles east of Cherry; the yellow light is burning 113 acres northeast of Dugas. The Tiger Fire has reached 1,700 acres about 11 miles east of Crown King without containment, PNF estimates released this morning.
Staff have been assigned to watch and work to contain hot spots according to firefighters. National forests in the area remain closed until there is sufficient rainfall to reduce the fire danger.
Updates slow Rafael fire as containment improves
Rafael’s fire has so far burned 78,709 acres and is 89% contained, according to an update from the incident management team released Thursday. All communities in the region have been demoted to “ready” status for possible evacuation.
ITM says archaeologists scanned the Sycamore Canyon area to analyze the safety of Indigenous cultural sites amid the fire conditions. Updates are expected to slow down on the fire as crews gain containment. Coconino County has turned off its information line on the fire, although members of the public may continue to contact a Rafael Fire Public Information Line affiliated with the incident management team.
Northern AZ Communities Mull Holiday Plans, Fire Hazards
Communities in northern Arizona are grappling with increased fire risk as July 4 approaches.
The Town of Prescott and Prescott Valley will be holding public fireworks this weekend. The city of Tusayan, meanwhile, will host a drone light show on Sunday to comply with fire restrictions and reduce chemical pollution near the Grand Canyon.
The City of Flagstaff has canceled a scheduled fireworks display as Stage Four fire restrictions remain in place. Drive-up fireworks ceremonies are being held in Shiprock, Chinle, Tuba City and Window Rock for residents of the Navajo Nation, as COVID-19 warrants remain in effect on the reserve.
Delta confirmed in Mohave County, where vaccination rates are lagging the state
The delta variant of COVID-19 has been confirmed in Mohave County, according to health director Denise Burley. The variant was considered a threat by public health experts, although research shows the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccines are effective.
State data shows 36.9% of residents of Mohave County have received a COVID-19 vaccine, which is lower than the state average of 49.5%.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said the variant has been confirmed in the northern region of the reservation.
Coconino County enters new re-entry phase
More pop-up COVID-19 vaccination clinics are scheduled this weekend in Coconino County; the county is offering doses of the Pfizer, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson vaccine tomorrow at Heritage Square in downtown Flagstaff.
A clinic is also planned at the Ponderosa Fire Department, ext. 81 tomorrow afternoon in the parks. The county has officially entered a fourth phase of its re-entry plan, opening the county buildings to the public. The new phase requires unvaccinated people to wear masks in county buildings, while fully vaccinated people are not asked to wear masks, with the exception of some buildings.
More than 51% of the county’s population has received a vaccine, according to data from Coconino County.
Flagstaff City Council deliberates on mental health funding after crash
Flagstaff City Council expressed support this week for allocating funds to both the Flagstaff Trails initiative and possible mental health services. The city would use a communal initiative fund.
Mental health support funding was originally offered for those affected by a collision in downtown Flagstaff that killed a cyclist and seriously injured several others.
Mayor Paul Deasy eventually came up with an allocation of $ 7,500 for the trails initiative and $ 17,500 to fund individual mental health services through a nonprofit in the area.