Weather key today for crews fighting 89 Mesa fire near Flagstaff

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By Alicia Barron By Alicia Barron

FLAGSTAFF -- Winds are expected to be lighter up north today, which is good news for fire crews battling the 89 Mesa near Flagstaff.

Coconino National Forest officials say crews are starting to get a handle on a wind-whipped wildfire that had charred an estimated 550 acres near Flagstaff by Thursday night.

Officials say the 89 Mesa Fire was spotted Thursday afternoon on forest land about a mile west of U.S. Highway 89 and nine miles
northeast of Flagstaff. No structures are threatened and forest officials say there are no calls for any evacuations.

More than 150 firefighters, 14 fire engines, two dozers and three water tenders are battling the fire. There is no timetable yet for full containment.

Game and Fish workers to blame for 89 Mesa fire near Flagstaff?

FLAGSTAFF – Two state workers may have unintentionally sparked a wildfire dubbed the 89 Mesa Fire near Flagstaff.

A news release from the Arizona Game and Fish Department indicates they are reviewing the activities of one of its field crews in connection with the wildfire that started Thursday afternoon.

That two-person crew was reportedly doing welding work on a wildlife water catchment as a routine maintenance procedure when the blaze started.

Deputy Director for the Arizona Game and Fish Department Gary Hovatter says, “At this point we don’t know the details about what caused the fire, but it appears that department employees were involved. We are conducting a thorough review to determine what happened.”

So far the 89 Mesa fire has burned over 550 acres on the Coconino National Forest about nine miles northeast of Flagstaff.