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11:03 PM Tue, Oct. 23rd

ADOT closes Highway 69 because of Goodwin Fire smoke

Mayer residents living west of Main Street evacuated

Courier reader Richard Patton submitted this photo of the Goodwin Fire taken from his home at the south end of Stoneridge in Prescott Valley at 1:10 p.m. on June 27, 2017.

Richard Patton/Courtesy

Courier reader Richard Patton submitted this photo of the Goodwin Fire taken from his home at the south end of Stoneridge in Prescott Valley at 1:10 p.m. on June 27, 2017.

Community meeting

The location for tonight's Community Meeting has been changed to:

Bradshaw Mountain High School, 6000 E Long Look Drive, Prescott Valley, at 6:30 p.m. in the gym.

The location is just off of Glassford Hill Road.

photo

Arizona Department of Transportation officials closed State Route 69 between Interstate 17 and Highway 169 Tuesday afternoon because of smoke from the Goodwin Fire.

The Goodwin Fire was reported moving to the south and Arizona Department of Transportation officials closed Highway 69 between Interstate 17 and Highway 169 because of dense smoke. Also, authorities issued mandatory evacuation notices for Mayer, west of Main Street, and Mayer to Poland Junction, Tuesday, June 27.

ADOT announced the closure of Highway 69 at 2:45 p.m. Tuesday.

The fire, which started Saturday, June 24, had grown to 4,400 acres by mid-day Tuesday. It is burning in an area south and west of the junction of Senator Highway and County Road 177.

Arizona Department of Transportation crews were staging Tuesday afternoon, ready to close Highway 69 if the Goodwin Fire conditions change, said Peter Corbett, public information officer for ADOT.

The evacuation order for the community of Pine Flat is still in place, and the Sheriff’s Office also issued an evacuation order for Breezy Pines.

A news release issued by the U.S. Forest Service said that reports of structures burned in the early stages of the fire have not yet been confirmed.

The fire was 5 percent contained as of Tuesday afternoon.

A fire started at about 4 p.m. in the Bradshaw Ranger District, about 14 miles southeast of Prescott at the junction of Senator Highway and County Road 177.

Jessie Berner, acting PNF forest supervisor, issued on Monday morning a closure order for all roads leading into the area. This order remains in effect until July 30, or until it is rescinded. Exempted from this order are private property owners and resident, and any federal, state or local officer, or member of any organized rescue or firefighting force on official duty. Violators could be fined $5,000 or face imprisonment for not more than six months, or both.

As of Monday afternoon, 20 fires are actively burning in Arizona.

Resources assigned to the Goodwin Fire include six Hotshot crews, 10 Type II crews, 29 engines, four helicopters, two air attack planes, and 525 personnel.

Even with these resources on the fire, Prescott National Forest spokesperson Debbie Maneely assures residents that Forest Service personnel remain on patrol in recreational areas. She reminds everyone that Prescott National Forest and Yavapai County are still in Stage 1 fire restrictions.

“Please remain vigilant. Hopefully, our visitors will be vigilant and follow our Stage 1 restrictions, and we’ll have no issues this coming weekend,” she said.

A Type 1 Incident Management Team took over command of the fire at 6 a.m. Monday. Fire crews are looking at the feasibility of protecting structures and private property in the communities of Pine Flat and Breezy Pines.

The Yavapai County Emergency Operations phone bank number was incorrectly printed. The correct number, 928-442-5103, is manned from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

NO DRONE ZONE

When Forest Service or firefighters catch sight of a drone flying near a wildland fire without permission, they must ground their firefighting aircraft. Drones create serious safety issues for firefighting aircraft. This is not only frustrating to firefighters, it allows the wildfire to grow larger.

On June 25, a helicopter assisting firefighting efforts over the Boundary Fire 17 miles northwest of Flagstaff was forced to stand down due to an unauthorized unmanned aerial system device flying within a flight-restricted area.

Individuals who have been determined to have endangered manned aircraft or people on the ground with a UAS and/or interfered with wildfire suppression may be subject to civil penalties, including fines of up to $25,000, and potentially criminal prosecution.

Drones have not been an issue in fighting the Goodwin Fire, Maneely reports.

Sarah Nilsson, aviation attorney and law professor at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, teaches drone law and wrote the book, “Drones Across America.” She said federal law and most states and municipalities have laws and ordinances making it a crime to interfere with first responders.

“With hobbyists, I mention you have to give right of way to manned aircraft – slurry bombers, for instance – you must give way,” Nilsson said.

ERAU students of unmanned aerial systems are completely aware of state and local ordinances in this country, and 68 other countries, she added. “Some are so aware, that on social media, they are spreading the word to some uneducated folks posting out there.”

Live Video from Goodwin Fire

Daily Courier Photo Editor Les Stukenberg is broadcasting live on Facebook from near the Goodwin Fire.

Watch this link for additional live broadcasts as they happen, or visit our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/DailyCourier

Here are some earlier broadcasts from today.

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