Floods could inundate fire zone near Arizona mountain city
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities are warning of possible flooding as thunderstorms are expected to drench a forested Arizona city where a wildfire has scarred a mountainous area overlooking it and prompted anxious residents to pack up prized possessions.
The National Weather Service said in a statement that numerous thunderstorms were expected in the Flagstaff area Wednesday and Thursday that could produce heavy rain, lightning and gusty winds.
The fire has charred about 2 square miles (5.4 square kilometers) in a mountain pass that’s a prime recreation area near Flagstaff.
About two dozen homes have been evacuated and residents of 5,000 homes were previously told they might have to leave.
Gov. Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency, freeing $200,000 in state funding for the effort to battle the blaze in Coconino National Forest.