Arizona News

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Drivers can face fines for flood rescues

VIDEO: Arizona drivers may face a number of fines if first responders have to rescue them from flood waters. Two motorists are facing charges of reckless driving after each required a rescue Monday after monsoon storms. A Scottsdale driver is facing additional charges of failure to obey a traffic control device and driving left of center. According to city court information on this violation, the driver may pay more than $500 in civil fines. Scottsdale police say it’s up to prosecutors to decide if the driver in their city will be punished under the Stupid Motorist Law. The law was put on the books in the 1990s and is meant to deter drivers from making mistakes on the road that can put lives at risk, theirs or anyone else's, including the emergency responders'. Fines can mount up to $2,000.

Grand Canyon wildfire reaches nearly 10,000 acres, forcing more closures

A Grand Canyon wildfire spreading through pine needles and downed logs has grown to nearly 10,000 acres in more than three weeks, resulting in more closures of several trails. The Obi Fire had consumed an estimated 9,921 acres as of Monday night, according to InciWeb. Lightning started the blaze July 21 on the far southwest corner of the North Rim’s Wahalla Plateau, above Obi Point. Smoke from the Grand Canyon wildfire was visible from both rims of Grand Canyon National Park. Recent growth has been in the northern and eastern perimeter of the fire.
KTAR 620 - Newsradio

Cooler temps help crews on rural northern Arizona wildfires

Crews are expecting cooler weather to help efforts to put out two wildfires in rural northern Arizona. U.S. Forest Service officials in Kaibab National Forest said scattered thunderstorms and showers on Monday have made flare ups minimal. The Cat Fire is burning 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Jacob Lake. It has scorched around 2,500 acres (1,011 hectares). Firefighters say they are conducting a burnout operation on its northeast portion. The Stina Fire, about half the size, is burning 23 miles (37 kilometers) southwest. Firefighters say they are conducting a burnout operation on the northeast portion of the blaze. Both are burning ponderosa pine, mixed conifer and other brush. Smoke from the fires is visible from the Grand Canyon's North and South Rim.
KVOA-TV NBC 4 Tucson

Smoke detectors help Phoenix family escape from apartment fire

A Phoenix family of five was able to escape an apartment fire when their smoking detectors alerted them early Tuesday morning. The Phoenix Fire Department responded to the fire just before 4 a.m. near 32nd Street and Thomas Road. The residents of the apartment were able to escape before firefighters arrived on the scene, according to Phoenix fire. The family members told firefighters that they were alerted to the fire by their smoke detectors. Phoenix firefighters were able to control and extinguish the fire before it spread to other apartments. No one was injured. At this time, Phoenix fire's crisis teams are working to relocate the residents affected by the fire.

Chemical-fueled explosion causes fire inside Coolidge marijuana facility

A fire that occurred at Arizona Development Services, a marijuana cultivation facility, over the weekend is currently under investigation. The Coolidge Fire Department responded to the facility, located near the intersection of Coolidge Avenue and Macrae Road, at around 6:51 p.m. on Sunday. Fire Chief Mark Dillon said the call initially came in as a fire caused by a lightning strike. Upon arriving on scene, however, crews discovered that the fire was actually coming from an internal source. “After the initial investigation we determined it was not lightening that stuck the facility," he said. "It was improperly stored hazardous materials."
Pinal Central

Monday, August 13, 2018

Green Valley woman’s experience as one of the first female Forest Service firefighters

VIDEO: Forty years ago, Forest Service fire crews were almost all men. That was, until one woman who now lives in Green Valley, became one of the first women to join. Linda Strader didn't plan to be a pioneer. She just wanted to be a firefighter. "Didn't give it a second thought whether or not I could do it, I just figured I could," Strader said. It was the mid-1970's, a woman on a fire crew was almost unheard of. Strader was the only woman on her Forest Service crew and one of the first to ever join the Forest Service. She says men on the crew told her she couldn't do the job and she didn't belong there.
The CW Tucson

Man dies after car trapped in flooded wash south of Tucson

A man is dead after his car became trapped in a flooded wash near Tucson on Sunday night, officials said. Pima County Rural Metro firefighters responded to a waterway near the Nogales Highway south of Tucson on reports of an upside-down vehicle stuck in a steep wash at about 7:30 p.m. The "extremely fast high water" prevented first responders from reaching the car immediately, the department said in a Facebook post. "It was impossible for crews to get near the vehicle and it was determined that the situation was not survivable," officials said in the post. The fast-moving water carried the car a half-mile down the waterway. Crews had to wait for the water to recede before they could recover the body of 46-year-old Mark Neely from the car.
Arizona Republic, & KPNX-TV NBC 12 Phoenix

Family displaced due to vacant apartment fire in Phoenix

A family is having to stay somewhere else after a fire broke out at a vacant apartment next to theirs in Phoenix. Crews were called out to the apartment complex near 54th Street and Thomas around 10 a.m. on Sunday. They were able to put out the flames before they spread to nearby apartments. They then set up fans to clear out the smoke in the nearby apartments. One of the four families was displaced and the fire department is helping them out, firefighters said. Investigators said an appliance sparked the fire in the vacant apartment.

Phoenix FD: Small plane goes off runway at Deer Valley Airport

A small plane went off the runway at Deer Valley Airport Sunday night causing minor damage, firefighters said. The incident happened around 8 p.m. The wing of the airplane clipped a sign as it went off the runway, according to the Phoenix Fire Department. The pilot was not injured and there were no passengers on board. The incident happened after the plane landed safely, firefighters said. Firefighters said a small amount of fluid leaked from the plane. The airplane is being towed to the hangar.

2 men face trial after ammo smuggling results in car fire

A Phoenix-area man will face trial in September in federal court in Tucson for attempting to smuggle thousands of rounds of ammunition and parts for machine guns into Mexico; a scheme that was uncovered when the ammunition, stashed in the engine compartment, began to cook off, igniting his vehicle. Francisco Eduardo Santana-Lopez, 19, was indicted on three counts by a grand jury in July for conspiracy and smuggling, along with co-conspirator Aaron Jazziel Cordova. According to court documents, Santana-Lopez and Cordova allegedly tried to smuggle into Mexico 200 rounds of .50-caliber ammunition, 2,000 rounds of 7.62x51 mm rifle rounds, as well as 2,000 of 7.62x39 mm rounds for AK-47-patterned rifles, a parts kit and tripod assembly for a WWII-era machine gun.
Tucson Sentinel

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