Boulder View Fire in Arizona’s most populous county over 60% contained as evacuation status downgraded | CNN (2024)

Boulder View Fire in Arizona’s most populous county over 60% contained as evacuation status downgraded | CNN (1)

An air tanker drops slurry on a section of the Boulder View Fire in north Scottsdale, Arizona, on Friday.

CNN

Residents in Maricopa County, Arizona, are able to return home Sunday after evacuation orders in areas impacted by the ongoing Boulder View Fire in the Sonoran Desert were downgraded – though some should continue to stay vigilant,according to state fire officials.

The Boulder View Fire, which ignited Thursday east of Carefree in Arizona’s most populous county has burned through more than 3,700 acres and was 63% contained as of Sunday evening, according to an update on InciWeb on Sunday.

“Containment increased on the east side of the fire after it reached the Wildcat Fire-burned area and stopped spreading,” according to InciWeb’s Sunday update. The now fully contained Wildcat Fire started in May and scorched more than 14,000 acres.

Crews will continue structure protection efforts on Sunday and focus on “improving firelines” around the Boulder View Fire, the update stated.

In the meantime, fire officials announced they had lifted evacuation status in the affected area, though residents need to remain aware of dangerous conditions according to the state’s “Ready, Set, Go!” program.

“Areas in GO evacuate status were downgraded to SET while areas in SET status were returned to READY status on Saturday afternoon at 5 p.m.,” the update Sunday said, referring to the three levels of preparedness used to guide residents ahead of and during evacuations.

The “Ready” status signifies being prepared and aware of hazards, while “set” encourages residents to be alert about significant danger in their area and to consider voluntarily evacuating. “Go” urges people to evacuate from imminent and life-threatening danger, according to the Arizona Emergency Information Network.

Boulder View Fire in Arizona’s most populous county over 60% contained as evacuation status downgraded | CNN (2)

Fire peaks over a hill as smoke emerges from the Boulder View Fire in north Scottsdale, Arizona, on Friday.

An evacuation order went into effect Thursday night for residents along the southeast side of the fire, the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management said ina social media post. The department said at least 60 homes were evacuated Thursday. About 4.5 million people live in the county.

“It definitely puts a little bit of a panic into your mind right away,” a Scottsdale woman told CNN affiliate KPNX. “We made a plan. We have had a plan. We have lots of friends in the area that have trucks and trailers ready to go when we are.”

The woman, along with another resident, safely evacuated to another property in north Scottsdale where they have mares, pigs, goats and cats. They said watching the “orange flames over the north side of the houses” put them “on edge” as they watched from safety.

The fire is burning as the nation grapples with a summer of moreextreme heat– the deadliest form of weather globally and one making wildfires more likely and destructive. And with the planet warming due to fossil fuel pollution, the heat will only getmore frequentand intense.

Boulder View Fire in Arizona’s most populous county over 60% contained as evacuation status downgraded | CNN (3)

A sign displaying an extreme fire danger sits in front of the Boulder View Fire in north Scottsdale, Arizona, on Friday.

“We’ve evacuated our horses, and we’ll get some more. I’ll do it all night long if I have to,” resident Chris Hull told CNN affiliate KNXV as he was fueling up his truck to haul more livestock. “Whatever it takes.”

Fire activity in Maricopa County picked up late Thursday, forcing officials to shift crews to the southeast side of the fire to protect structures. The wildfire is also threatening “high voltage power lines and the Sonoran Desert,” authorities said via InciWeb.

“It’s burning through grass and brush and has moved off of private land onto the Tonto National Forest,” they said.

Nearly 270 personnel have been assigned to the fire, according to Sunday’s InciWeb update.

“Crews will especially focus on the southeast part of the fire due to residences at risk and prevailing winds as fire crews on the south and west sides of the fire will improve firelines and begin mop up,” the update read.

Chances of thunderstorms could “make firefighting efforts more complicated due to gusty winds and lightning strikes,” according to the update.

This story has been updated with additional information.

CNN’s Ashley R. Williams contributed to this report.

Boulder View Fire in Arizona’s most populous county over 60% contained as evacuation status downgraded | CNN (2024)
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