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Tunnel Fire evacuees allowed to return home, 21,000+ acres

"SET" status downgraded to a "READY" status
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Posted at 6:20 PM, Apr 28, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-28 21:20:00-04

FLAGSTAFF — The Tunnel Fire "SET" status has been downgraded to a "READY" status Thursday afternoon.

As of Thursday night, the Tunnel Fire is at 19,075 acres and 43% containment.

The community's "READY" status indicates people should continue to monitor fire activity and have basic plans in place in the event that a "GO" message is received.

Residents of the neighborhoods along Highway 89 were able to go to the north parking lot of the Silver Saddle Trading Post Monday to begin the re-entry process.

According to a release from the Coconino County Sheriff's Office, anyone attempting to re-enter will be required to show identification or any documents that verify their address before returning to their homes.

On Sunday afternoon, ADOT announced Highway 89 has reopened north of Flagstaff.

Officials say deputies will continue to patrol the area and enforce closures.

CCSO says residents should be aware of any wildfire by-products, such as smoldering stumps and sinkholes, and if anyone sees hazardous tree or structure issues, to contact the appropriate agency and their non-emergency numbers.

If returning residents see any spot fires or immediate threats to themselves or the community, they are asked to call 911.

Firefighters will continue to work within the Timberline Estates and Wupatki Trails Subdivisions. Crews are constructing lines between O’Leary Peak and Black Mountain and may conduct burnout operations to secure the fireline if needed. Crews will continue working the spot fire on 89 Mesa and construct fireline in the Strawberry Crater Wilderness area. Patrol and mop-up will continue along Forest Road 545 on the southern edge of the fire.