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Wed, Aug. 04

Update: Rafael Fire grows to 20,000 acres overnight; evacuation orders in place for Sycamore Canyon areas

The Rafael Fire has grown to 20,000 acres as of June 21. (Loretta McKenney/WGCN)

The Rafael Fire has grown to 20,000 acres as of June 21. (Loretta McKenney/WGCN)

Update: The Rafael fire southeast of Williams grew to 20,000 acres overnight. There are no new closures to communities, according to officials. Evacuation orders for areas south of Forest Service roads 535 and 231 are still in place.

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(Photo/USFS)

Original story:

PARKS, Ariz. - Coconino County issued an emergency evacuation order at 8:30 p.m. June 20, for areas of Sycamore Canyon south of FS535 off FS231 because of the threat of a wildfire.

Coconino County Sheriff’s Office is currently evacuating dispersed campers in the area.

At this time, there are no residential communities at risk.

According to Sherwood Forest Fire Chief John Moede, strong winds from the west in combination with terrain, and low humidity caused increased fire behavior today, increasing growth of the fire significantly.

The Rafael Fire has grown from 6,000 acres this morning to 10,000 acres and can be seen from areas south of Garland Prairie and the Pine-Aire neighborhoods.

Garland Prairie neighborhoods are reminded to be in the READY mode. READY means begin to prepare for a possible evacuation.

This includes making a family evacuation and communication plan that includes phone numbers, out-of-town contacts and family meeting locations. Build an emergency go kit with enough food, water, and necessary supplies for at least 72 hours.

Residents are asked to check with neighbors, family, friends, and elders to ensure they are READY too.

The Arizona Central West Zone Type 3 Incident Management Team has assumed management of the Rafael Fire that began approximately 4 miles north of Perkinsville.

The fire was discovered on June 18, the result of passing predominantly dry thunderstorms. The Arizona Central West Zone Type 3 Incident Management Team has assumed the Rafael Fire in addition to the fires being managed as the Rock Butte Fires - five lightning caused fires located west of Highway 89, north of Paulden.

Information for the Rock Butte Fires located west of Highway 89, north of Paulden is on available on Inciweb.

The county encourages residents to register with the Coconino County Emergency Notification system at coconino.az.gov/ready

Information will be updated on the Williams-Grand Canyon News website as it becomes available.

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