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Tinder Fire area evacuation order remains until area deemed safe to re-enter
Coconino County, the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) and the State of Arizona Department of Emergency and Military Affairs is currently planning a staged re-entry for evacuated Blue Ridge - area residents of the Tinder Fire. The County cannot begin a staged re-entry process until it ensures that the entire area is completely safe for residents even though some developed areas have not been directly impacted by the fire.
The Blue Ridge neighborhoods are still under evacuation orders from the CCSO. The evacuated area is still very dangerous with exposed hazardous waste, damaged propane tanks, downed powerlines, hazard trees and other safety issues. County and State officials, as well as private utility and propane companies, are currently mobilized in the area to mitigate these health and safety risks prior to a staged and controlled re-entry. The County is working as quickly as possible to secure the area.
No timeframe has been identified for initiating a controlled, staged re-entry process. The County is working with agency partners to set-up a resident reception area to distribute information and provide services. A detailed re-entry packet will be provided to residents as they re-enter their specific area. A website (coconino.az.gov/tinderfirerecovery) and email (firstname.lastname@example.org) dedicated to the Tinder Fire recovery have been established. The website is being populated with information and will be updated frequently.
Once the evacuation order is lifted by the County, only owners, validated by proper identification, will be allowed to return. The first to re-enter will be the residents of the confirmed 41 destroyed or heavily damaged homes. Those home owners will be allowed in prior to other evacuated community members so that they can have time to process their losses. The remaining residents will be allowed to re-enter through a staged re-entry process, which is being planned by the CCSO.
A controlled and staged re-entry process provides for greater public safety and allows residents to receive important information that supports their re-entry and community recovery efforts. The re-entry plan will be emailed to the residents that have provided contact information as well as communicated through the County’s Emergency Notification system (sign up for notifications at www.coconino.az.gov/ready), posted on the Tinder Fire website and distributed on the County’s Facebook (www.facebook.com/coconinocounty) and Twitter (www.twitter.com/coconinocounty).
Evacuated residents of the Blue Ridge area are strongly encouraged to call the Coconino County Tinder Fire Call Center at 928.213.2990 and provide their contact information. This is essential for the County to directly communicate with people on any assessment or re-entry information. Without contact info, the County will not be able communicate specific, individual information directly to those affected individuals and inform residents of their re-entry day and time.
Coconino County and its partners are committed to supporting the Blue Ridge residents and community by providing information and resources to navigate the lengthy recovery process. The County understands this is a very difficult time and counseling services are available by calling the Crisis Hotline at 877-756-4090.