Governor Doug Ducey Issues State of Emergency as Tunnel Fire Continues to Burn in Coconino County

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Sanaya Gupta

The Tunnel Fire is currently destroying towns in Coconino County located in Northern Arizona. It has burned 19,075 acres so far and has caused hundreds to evacuate. The fire has been burning since April 17, 2022 and so far, has cost $3.1 million. A cause for the overall fire has not yet been determined. It is burning near the U.S. Highway 89, causing it to shut down on April 19, however it eventually reopened on April 24. Firefighters have been rapidly working to contain the fire. 

Due to the danger this fire poses, Governor Doug Ducey issued a state of emergency on April 21, 2022. Ducey tweeted, “As strong winds fuel fires across Arizona, we pray for the safety of the responders and firefighters in Northern Arizona, and are thankful for their dedication to protecting the lives, pets and property of Arizonans.”

The Coconino County’s website has urged people to be ready for evacuation and have an emergency kit prepared. On April 24, the Coconino County tweeted, “If you are returning to your homes after the #TunnelFire, BE SAFE. There are hazards still in the area. In these areas you may encounter dangerous conditions and may be exposed to toxic materials.”

As of Friday, April 29, the fire is 89 percent contained. This is an improvement from the 43 percent containment reported on April 28.