The Yarnell Hill fire, which has been blazing since Friday in central Arizona, has been contained by about eight percent, and officials believe full containment can be achieved only by July 12, Phoenix Arizona News reported on Tuesday night.
The fire has so far spread to 8,400 acres but favorable climate with low winds helped firefighters make progress in fighting the fire on Tuesday.
"Right now we are really pleased to see that. We had a very productive day today," Incident Commander Clay Templin, told the Phoenix Arizona News, adding that Wednesday’s efforts will be focused on preventing the fire from crossing the north, south and east flanks.
However, strong winds could still cause the fire to spread, Templin said, adding residents have been asked to be patient and not move back into their homes until the fire is fully contained.
The fire is “really tame, with not a lot of flames, but hot embers would catch on fire if the wind blows right. The wind is still the enemy,” he told the paper. “The potential for the fire to pick up and run again is extreme. All of the fuels for this fire are extremely dry.’’
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About 596 firefighters were trying to contain the fire on Tuesday and more are expected to join in on Wednesday, Suzanne Flory, a Forest Service spokesperson told the Phoenix Arizona News.
The Yarnell Hill fire, which claimed the lives of 19 firefighters on Sunday, has affected the communities of Yarnell and Peeples Valley, located about 80 miles to the northwest of Phoenix, and burned an estimated 250 structures.
A team of federal fire investigators were expected to arrive on Tuesday to determine what caused the deaths of the 19 firefighters, USA Today reported, adding that they will start examining the scene of death on Wednesday.