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An Investigation Has Revealed The Cause Of Last Year’s Tunnel Fire Has Been Deemed “Undetermined”

photo courtesy of the Coconino National Forest

The cause of the Tunnel Fire has been ruled “undetermined.” The Southwest Region Law Enforcement and Investigation organization took over a year to conduct the investigation. The Tunnel Fire was originally reported on the afternoon of Sunday, April 17th, 2022 about nine miles northwest of Flagstaff, adjacent to the Timberline/Fernwood community. The investigation points out that firefighters responded immediately and extinguished the fire soon after it was reported. Firefighters returned the following morning and found that all control lines held. They continued checking for hot spots and by 3:18 p.m. it was deemed out, with all smoke and hot spots extinguished prior to firefighters leaving the area. By early Tuesday morning, two days after the original fire started, a combination of 60 mile-per-hour winds and warm conditions occurred over the fire area. Due to the winds, firefighters were unable to suppress the fast-moving fire. In total, 1,335 structures that were threatened, 30 residences and 24 outbuildings were lost to the fire, that grew to just over 19-thousand acres before being fully contained on June 1st. No lives were lost in the fire. Law enforcement encourages anyone who may have information regarding who started the Tunnel Fire to contact the Coconino National Forest at 928-527-3600 or Coconino County Sheriff’s Office at 928-774-4523, option 1.

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