Evacuation orders have been lifted for all but 75 residences in several neighborhoods effected by the Willow Fire, which has grown to nearly 7,000 acres. Commanders with the Southwest Area Incident Management Team announced during a briefing about an hour ago that they will allow residents in the Marina Coves, Tangerine Terrance, Arizona Village, Aqua View, Delta City and Riverview Terrace neighborhood return to their homes. The evacuation order was officially lifted at 11 a.m.
The Willow Fire was very active yesterday with intense fire behavior, according to Incident Commander Alan Sinclair. Most of the smoke seen around the Tri-State area yesterday was from the burning of pockets of fuel within the interior of the fire, which had grown to 6,780-acres by early this morning. Sinclair indicated that firefighters concentrated their efforts on suppression efforts to protect structures. No additional structures were lost last night.
While the evacuation orders have been removed, Sinclair says there are still trouble spots and concerns for the management team. Particularly, commanders are concerned about the possible presence of ‘ash pits,’ dead standing trees and other hazardous materials that may have been caught up in the blaze.
“In the neighborhoods impacted by the fire we want to insure that damaged infrastructure does not pose a threat to public safety,” Sinclair said. “We’re working with cooperators to mitigate these issues.”
Firefighters are also concerned about the weather today. A rise in temperature and a decrease in humidity could create prime conditions to allow the fire to become active again.