A SUSPECT has been jailed in connection to the Pipeline Fire as more than 5,000 acres burn with residents unable to return to their homes.
The massive blaze was first reported Sunday morning at about 10.15am local time six miles north of Flagstaff.
Strong winds on Sunday moved the fire, which is now spanning 15 miles, according to officials.
The Coconino County Sheriff’s Office said someone has been arrested for violating the county’s burn ban, in connection with the wildfire.
The 57-year-old male remains in custody at the Coconino County Sheriff’s Detention Facility.
“The investigation into the cause of the Pipeline Fire is ongoing and, in order to protect the integrity of the investigation, we cannot discuss any details of the investigation,” said Law Enforcement Patrol Captain Andy Pederson.
No structures or homes have been damaged.
Route 89 remains closed to traffic just north of Flagstaff, with no estimated reopening time, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
The flames have spurred evacuation orders for parts of the Flagstaff area, located north of Phoenix.
Evacuation orders are also in effect for Schultz Pass Road, Arizona Snowbowl, and Timberline South of Brandis.
Coconino County officials warned on Twitter that those in nearby areas should be ready to go at a moment’s notice.
An evacuation shelter has been set up at Sinagua Middle School.
Fire officials told the local FOX affiliate earlier Sunday that the blaze is “active on all sides.”
Helicopters and additional emergency resources have responded to the scene.
A Wind Advisory was issued for the area with the National Weather Service warning of gusts up to 50 miles per hour. Southeast winds were estimated at 20-30 mph.
Officials reported that the wind is blowing smoke through Schultz Pass toward Doney Park.
The fire is burning near the site of the Tunnel Fire burn scar.
More than 20,000 acres burned there back in May.
Billowing smoke can be seen for miles as worried residents share photos on social media.
An incident management team has been requested by the National Forest Service.
Firefighters are battling the massive fire in Flagstaff as another blaze threatens homes in California.
The fire in Southern California’s Wrightwood area has ballooned to 775 acres in size with high winds fanning flames.
Evacuation orders are in effect with law enforcement going door-to-door in the impacted area, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department.
A local highway is closed and an excessive heat warning remains in effect for parts of San Bernardino County through 8pm Sunday night.