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Rafael Fire nears 53,000 acres, additional evacuations announced

Lightning caused eight different fires across the north end of the Chino Valley Ranger District.

CHINO VALLEY, Ariz. — Evacuations for residents in Garland Prairie South have been ordered for the fire burning through the north end of the Prescott National Forest, fire officials said.

The wildfire, named the Rafael Fire, has burned 53,664 acres and is 11% contained as of Saturday night, officials said.

There is 664 personnel working to contain the fire that is burning four miles north of Perkinsville. 

Parts of Coconino County and Yavapai County are under evacuation orders. 

The following communities are under the "GO" order and have been asked to evacuate:

  • Areas around Sycamore Canyon
  • Areas south of Forest Service Road 535 off Forest Service Road 231
  • Some rural ranches in the area of North FSR 525 and Bill Grey Road
  • West of Sedona (Loy Ranch) 

The following communities are under the "SET" order, meaning residents should prepare their families and homes ahead of time for the possibility of having to evacuate:

  • Camp Navajo
  • Garland Prairie North
  • Pine Aire Estates
  • Bill Grey Road 
  • FS Road 525 and FS Road 152C
  • Bear Mountain Road

  • Garland Prairie South

The following communities are under the "READY" order, meaning residents should create and maintain defensible space and harden their home against flying embers:

  • All areas south of I-40 and west of I-17  
  • University Heights
  • Forest Highlands
  • Pine Del
  • Woody Mountain Road
  • Pine Aire Estates
  • Kachina Village

  • Mountain del

The wildfire was one of eight fires ignited in the same area after a lightning storm passed through the north end of the Prescott National Forest on Thursday.

Officials said the Rafael Fire grew from 400 acres to over 18,000 acres Sunday afternoon, engulfing the other adjacent smaller fires.

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Residents in evacuation areas are urged to have an emergency supplies kit to bring with them when leaving their homes.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that residents near a disaster store emergency supplies in a plastic tub, small suitcase, trash can, backpack, or other containers. 

Residents should make sure they have the necessities, such as three gallons of water per person and a three-day supply of ready-to-eat food, the NFPA said. A first-aid kit, prescription medications, contact lenses, and non-prescription drugs should also be taken into account. 

Copies of any important family documents, including insurance policies, identification, bank account records, and emergency contact numbers should also be taken and put into a waterproof, portable container in your kit, the NFPA said. 

The association lists other items that would help in a disaster, including:

  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and an NOAA weather radio to receive up-to-date information
  • Dust mask or cotton T-shirt to filter the air
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Complete change of clothing including long pants, long sleeve shirts, and sturdy shoes stored in a waterproof container
  • Signal flare

The entire NFPA checklist of supplies can be found here.

Arizona Wildfire Season

Get the latest information on how to stay safe and protect your home during wildfire season in Arizona.