Updated at 7:06 a.m. MDT June 14, 2022
A mapping flight at 9:38 MDT Monday night determined that the Pipeline Fire had grown to 20,178 acres and the Haywire Fire was 4,051 acres. Both blazes are within the Coconino National Forest, but at that time the Haywire Fire had reached the boundary and may spread outside the Forest. The Double Fire appears to have merged with the Haywire Fire.
The fires are burning in timber and grass. Some of the areas near the Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument have volcanic soils with little vegetation between patches of shrubs, grass, and trees. The elevation ranges from 6,000 to 10,000 feet, with the higher elevations on the west side of the Pipeline fire having a much greater density of timber as evidenced by the photo below and the extreme fire behavior Monday when flames at least 400 feet high were seen in videos.
In April of this year the 19,000-acre Tunnel Fire burned across the National Monument. The photo below was taken in 2017.
Updated at 11:00 p.m. MDT June 13, 2022
I have seen and been under many smoke columns, but I’ve never seen this on a large fire. Things that come to mind are mountain wave and wind shear. And, GTFO.
— Michel Marizco (@MichelMarizco) June 13, 2022
Here’s another photo.
Fire officials said the Pipeline Fire has burned about 6,500 acres.
A man has been arrested Sunday in connection with starting the fire. He told officers he had ignited toilet paper after using it and placed it under a rock Saturday, and that he tried to put out the fire with his sleeping bag. His camp was 80 yards from where the fire started, according to court documents.
This is not the first time a wildfire has been ignited by burning toilet paper. We have eight other articles on Wildfire Today tagged “toilet paper”.
Thanks and a tip of the hat go out to Dick.
Updated at 8:13 p.m. MDT June 13, 2022
In a briefing Monday evening fire officials said at least one structure has been destroyed in the three fires burning north and northeast of Flagstaff, Arizona. It appears that the Pipeline, Haywire, and Double Fires have or will soon merge with the footprint from the Tunnel Fire that burned about 19,000 acres north of Flagstaff in April of this year.
The blaze was exhibiting extreme fire behavior Monday afternoon.
Coconino County has established a website with maps showing evacuation status.
Monday afternoon the wind near the fire was gusting as high as 49 mph out of the south-southwest while the relative humidity dropped as low as 6 percent. This, and the very dry vegetation, accounts for the extreme fire behavior on Monday.
2:35 p.m. MDT June 13, 2022
Three fires in northern Arizona are spreading rapidly in the Coconino National Forest north and northeast of Flagstaff.
The Pipeline Fire six miles north of the city started Sunday morning June 12. On Monday it has been pushed by winds gusting out of the southwest at 25 to 35 mph as the relative humidity dropped to 10 percent in the afternoon. It has reached the Tunnel Fire that blackened about 19,000 acres in April of this year. Judging from the massive smoke column it appears to be burning around it. Fire officials estimate it has blackened approximately 5,000 acres, but that number is changing hourly.
Another fire, the Haywire Fire, was was reported Sunday afternoon on the southeast side of the Tunnel Fire perimeter. It is about seven miles northeast of the Pipeline Fire, making it unlikely that it could have begun as a spot fire started by a lofted burning ember. Fire authorities said the probable cause of the 1,600- acre fire is from a lightning strike several days earlier and is expected to merge with the Double Fire.
A third fire was also reported Sunday afternoon about two miles south of the Haywire Fire. The Double Fire has burned about 500 acres according to Forest officials and was likely also caused by lightning.
Evacuations are in effect, and are being coordinated by the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office.
The northern halves of Arizona and New Mexico are under a Red Flag Warning on Monday. The Spot Weather Forecast for the Haywire Fire issued at 5:42 a.m. Monday:
Dry conditions with strong southwest winds persisting throughout the day. Winds are forecast to strengthen shortly after sunrise with peak gusts around 50 mph, localized higher. Relative humidity in the upper 20s will drop below 15 percent by late morning. Minimal RH recovery is expected Monday night with even worse recovery Tuesday night. Expect lighter, breezy west to southwest winds Tuesday with dry conditions.
— Steve Bartosh (@SteveBartosh) June 13, 2022