A swift-moving wildfire, which began north of Prescott around 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, June 18, has spread to more than 7,000 acres in the last 21 hours. Smoke from the fire drifted over the Verde Valley late into the day.
For comparison, the 2006 Brins Fire north of Sedona took 10 days to burn 4,317 acres.
Fire managers have called in three Type 1 air tankers, four helicopters, 16 fire crews and 27 engines for a total of 512 personnel. A Southwest Area Type I Incident Management Team will arrive Wednesday, June 19 to assume management of the fire.
Homes in the Granite Lakes area of Prescott, along Iron Springs Road, are under mandatory evacuation, according to David McAtee, community relations and public information officer with Yavapai County Community Health Services.
Smoke from the Doce Pit Fire is not yet at levels in populated areas that might cause harm currently. As long as you can still see things that are 5 to 10 miles away you can be reasonably sure you won’t have a medical emergency caused by smoke inhalation. Conditions are being monitored and communities will be alerted as needed, according to McAtee.
At night the falling air temperatures tend to cause smoke to move to lower elevations, according to McAtee. Communities near the fire might be affected by poor air quality and residents are advised to stay tuned to radios and scanners for alerts. Residents can help their community by checking on neighbors, especially if they live alone, are elderly, or have heart or lung disease.