Goodwin Fire 43 percent contained; Hwy 69 reopened

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A drone near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport forced aircraft fighting the Goodwin Fire near Prescott to stay on the ground Wednesday evening. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A drone near Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport forced aircraft fighting the Goodwin Fire near Prescott to stay on the ground Wednesday evening. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(Source: 3TV/CBS 5) (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
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PRESCOTT VALLEY (3TV/CBS 5) -

State emergency officials announced Thursday that the Goodwin Fire is now 43 percent contained and they reopened Highway 69 on Friday morning from the Interstate 17 to Prescott.

However, the massive fire that's been burning since Saturday has destroyed homes, officials confirmed.

[WATCH RAW VIDEO: Friday morning briefing]

During a community on Thursday evening, officials said a couple of homes were burned in Breezy Pines Canyon, three on the west side of Highway 69 and more in Pine Flat.

Chris Mathern fought back tears as he looked out at the ruins of one home along Big Bug Creek in Mayer. The home belonged to his sister and her husband, and had stood there since about 1900, he said.

“A few years back, she died of cancer," he said, covering his mouth in disbelief. "They went through a lot here. It's just devastating."

Fire crews were able to prevent the wildfire from going into Dewey and Humboldt. Around 3,000 to 4,000 live there. 

Many communities will stay evacuated for another three to five days, according to Yavapai County Sheriff Scott Mascher.

Fire officials said the fire turned went toward Breezy Pines and Blue Hills toward Poland Junction. That's where most of the fire is.

The damage to Highway 69 where the fire crossed at milepost 273 is minimal, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation. About 20 guardrail posts were burned and the cost to replace is not yet known.

Officials said 81 dogs, 67 cats and more than 109 large animals, such as horses llamas and pigs, are at a shelter. He asked Yavapai College to open up a facility.

Earlier on Thursday, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey cut short an out-of-state trip to visit the fire zone.

Ducey traveled to Yavapai County Thursday to survey the Goodwin Fire area, hear from officials, and meet with fire evacuees.

The governor's first stop was in Dewey, where he attended a planning and strategy briefing by fire officials.

He thanked firefighters for "keeping Arizona safe and literally working around the clock."

His next stop was a tour of the fire evacuation center in Prescott Valley. 

Ducey shook hands and offered comfort to many evacuees who are seeking shelter from the fire at Bradshaw Mountain High School.

He also spoke to Red Cross workers and other volunteers about the services they're providing for evacuees.

[RAW VIDEO: Ducey speaks at news conference]

Later in the day, Ducey spoke at a news conference outside the high school. 

During the briefing, he brought to mind the Yarnell Hill firefighters.

[RELATED: Arizona remembers deadly Yarnell Hill Fire as Goodwin Fire burns same area]

[WATCH: Gov. Doug Ducey acknowledges 4th anniversary of Yarnell Hill Fire]

He said that the 19 elite firefighters who died in a northern Arizona blaze almost exactly four years ago were on his mind. 

The fire is burning about 15 miles south of Prescott, Arizona, and has caused thousands to flee their homes. Residents of the small community of Mayer were allowed to go back to their homes Thursday morning. Several other communities remain evacuated.

The Forest Service issued some updates on fire conditions Thursday evening:

TOWNS AFFECTED

-The following communities remain under mandatory evacuation: Pine Flat, Breezy Pines, Poland Junction, Chauncey Ranch Rd., Mt. Union, Walker, Upper Blue Hills, Potato Patch, Dewey west of SR69, Chaparral Hills, and Mountain Pine Acres.

-Power was restored to most of Mayer early this afternoon. The structures providing power and water to Mayer were damaged by the fire. It was finally safe for Arizona Public Service (APS) to enter the fire area and assess and repair the equipment this morning. For Mayer residents without power, water is available at the Recreation Center in Mayer. If your power goes out, please let APS know by going to aps.com or calling their customer care center at 1-800-240-2014. Customers can be reimbursed for the purchase up to 40 lbs. of wet bagged ice or 20 lbs. of dry ice.

-The Bradshaw Ranger District Closure remains in place. For a list of closed campgrounds on the district, see the information below.

-The communities of Cleator and Crown King are OPEN and are not in the closure area.

 DONATIONS

People wanting to make donations can contact either Tony Figlerski with the American Red Cross at (928) 814-4999 or the Salvation Army at (928) 778-0150. 

DRONE INTRUSION OVER THE FIRE

At this afternoon’s briefing, Air Operations reported that there were no additional “drones” within the airspace for the Goodwin Fire. This is good news for the team and fire personnel.  An unmanned aircraft system (UAS) also known as a “drone” in the airspace associated with the fire would cause costly delays in firefighting efforts unduly threatening lives, property, and valuable natural and cultural resources. There is a Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) over the fire area and it is illegal to fly a drone within the restricted area. Violators will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. The community is reminded that “if you fly, we can’t fly.” 

FIRE SUMMARY

The north side of the fire continues to be the primary area of focus for fire fighters. Crews will be working across the top and on the north side of Big Bug Mesa to determine the best strategy for locating firelines. Lots of progress has been made on the west, south and east sides of the fire as the fire is 25% contained.

EVACUATIONS

  •          Walker, Blue Hills, Mountain Pine Acres, Dewey west of Hwy 69 excluding Prescott Country Club, Chauncey Ranch Road, Mt. Union
  •          the area west of Highway 69, from Mayer to Poland Junction.
  •          Poland Junction, Chaparral Hills and the Breezy Pines subdivision, Blue Hills, and Potato Patch
  •          The evacuation remains in place for Pine Flat

A shelter is in place at the Bradshaw Mountain High School, 6000 E Long Look Drive in Prescott Valley off of Glassford Hill Rd.

PRE-EVACUATIONS

Yavapai County Sheriff officials said on Friday that pre-evacuations were lifted for Orme School, Chauncey Ranch, Cross-T Ranch and U-Cross Ranch.

For additional information regarding evacuations and pre-evacuations please call the Yavapai County Emergency Operation Center at (928) 442-5103, 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

CLOSURES

  • The Bradshaw Ranger District has expanded the Goodwin Fire area closure on Wednesday, June 28th at 6:00 am.  Campgrounds and recreation opportunities in this area will be closed to the public as a precautionary measure to ensure public safety and to allow safe travel for those involved in the Goodwin Fire. Please visit the Prescott National Forest website (www.fs.fed.us/r3/prescott) or Inciweb (https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5278/) for a map of the closed area.
  • The Bradshaw Ranger District is canceling all campground reservations with recreation.gov for the next 2 weeks and freezing new reservations. Campers will be eligible for full refunds, but should retain their receipts to facilitate the process.

RECREATION SITES/AREAS CLOSED: 

  •    Lynx Corridor
  •    Lynx Campground
  •    Hilltop Campground
  •    Eagle Ridge Group Campground
  •    South Shore and North Shore Day Use Areas
  •    Lynx Lake Store and Marina
  •    Highland Center for Natural History
  •    Groom Creek Corridor
  •    Groom Creek Horse Camp
  •    Groom Creek Schoolhouse and Picnic Area
  •    Lower and Upper Wolf Creek Campgrounds
  •    Forest Service-Permitted Organization Camps

OTHER AREAS

  •    White Spar Campground
  •    All trails and trailheads within the closure area
  •    All camping within our designated dispersed sites and primitive camping within the closure area

The communities of Cleator and Crown King are open and NOT in the closure area. 

For information on the closure please call the Bradshaw Ranger District at (928) 443-8000

NO MAIL IN MAYER

Despite emergency officials announcement allowing Mayer residents to return to their homes earlier today (Thursday), the Mayer Post Office is currently without power and therefore remains closed until further notice.

The Mayer Post Office has been closed since the town’s evacuation was ordered on Tuesday, June 27. Also remaining closed is the Dewey Post Office, after complying with orders to evacuate on Wednesday.

Street delivery service has resumed for many customers in both Mayer and Dewey, however some areas remain inaccessible and therefore are not receiving delivery at this time. The areas that are inaccessible to mail carriers have changed from day to day, Dewey Postmaster Brenda Frooninckx said.

Postal customers from both Dewey and Mayer who have not received mail delivery may pick up their mail at the Camp Verde Post Office, 403 W. Finnie Flat Rd., Camp Verde AZ 86322. In addition, mail for Post Office Box customers in both Dewey and Mayer is available at Camp Verde. Customers are asked to bring identification to receive their mail.

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