I know it is hard to see in this photo, because it is almost 70 miles away, but if you look you will see the mountain to the right, beyond the rim of the Grand Canyon. And to the left of the mountain, you will see the enormous plume of smoke billowing out to the east.
This fire was first spotted on Sunday morning. It has caused over 1,000 homes in subdivisions to the north of Flagstaff to be evacuated, with more evacuations expected. Highway 89 was closed yesterday from Flagstaff to Cameron, causing a detour by way of Highway 64 through the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. People trying to get to Flagstaff from Page, the North Rim, or Kanab had a more than two hour trip by way of Williams to I-40 east to get there.
And it is not over with yet. As of this morning, the fire had already burned over a thousand acres, and was only 10% contained. And this did NOT have to happen. It is not a fire started by nature, such as a lightening strike. It was caused by a careless camper, who left a campfire burning when they broke camp.
So, please, people, if you go camping, please, please, please–put your campfires out. Cold to the touch, no smoke. Drench it with water, or cover it with dirt. But put it out. As Smokey the Bear would say, “Only YOU can prevent forest fires.”