FLAGSTAFF (NAZ Today) – A large stack of compacted cardboard boxes behind Wal-Mart caught fire at approximately 2:00 p.m. Sunday afternoon, closing McConnel Dr. between Beulah Blvd. and Woodlands Village Blvd.
The Flagstaff Fire Department issued a second alarm to request fire crews from Highlands and Summit Fire Departments to be available for other Flagstaff fire emergencies. Flagstaff firefighters then focused on controlling the fire and preventing spread to the nearby forest.
“Right now, we’re not exactly sure how this started,” said Mark Johnson, Information Officer for the Flagstaff Fire Department. “There don’t appear to be any heat sources in this area, so we’re looking at some other activity that may lead to suspicious activity.”
Wal-Mart and surrounding businesses remained open during the fire, and customers were not evacuated. There was no physical damage to any of the buildings, and no injuries were reported.
A red-flag warning was issued today, meaning a high risk for fires due to low humidity and fast wind speeds. Wildland firefighters worked to extinguish spot fires in the nearby forest caused by embers carried by the high winds.
Johnson said that trash fires like this one are uncommon in Flagstaff, but several fires of the same size occur each month.
“Think about the winds,” said Johnson. “We’re starting to get into wildfire season.”
Video report with Mark Johnson, Flagstaff Fire Department
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