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Hundreds Are Forced to Evacuate From Flag Fire in Western Arizona

A wildfire in the pine tree-covered Hualapai Mountains of western Arizona, which continued to burn on Monday, has forced the evacuation of a resort, county park and hundreds of homes, the authorities said.

The fire, named the Flag Fire, started on Sunday and was raging in about 600 acres of the Hualapai Mountains, a mountain range in Mohave County, in northwestern Arizona, Roger Galloway, a county spokesman, said on Monday.

“It slowed down a bit, but it’s expected to kick up again,” he said.

The fire is known as the Flag Fire because it began near Flag Mine Road in the Hualapai Mountains, a range about 50 miles east of the California border. About 200 homes in the mountaintop community of Pine Lake have been evacuated, as has the Hualapai Mountain Resort in Kingman and the cabins and trails at the 2,300-acre Hualapai Mountain Park, Mr. Galloway said.

Firefighters were working to put out the fire on land as well as from the air, and a helicopter was scheduled to conduct reconnaissance over the area on Monday morning, according to a statement from Mohave County. The American Red Cross set up a shelter for evacuees at an elementary school in Kingman.

The Hualapai Mountains rise more than 8,400 feet over a desert landscape, leading the county park service to refer to it as a “sky island.” The range is covered with pinyon and ponderosa pine trees and takes it name from the Hualapai, a Native American tribe known as the “people of the tall pines.”

The Hualapai Mountain Resort is a 12-room lodge with a restaurant and the only store on Hualapai Mountain, according to its website. “Everyone here is safe, and we wish the same, for all on the Mountain, including our Firefighters,” the resort said on Facebook in a post announcing that it had temporarily closed because of the wildfire.

Last year was the most active year on record for wildfires on the West Coast, and the prognosis for 2021 is bleak.

“Fire season 2021 is looking grim,” the Fire Weather Research Laboratory at San Jose State University said on Twitter early this month.

Conditions are expected to be warmer and drier than normal in parts of the west, exacerbating drought conditions, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. Arizona is bracing for another active fire season, said the state’s Department of Forestry and Fire Management.

This month, the Margo Fire in central Arizona’s Pinal County destroyed about 1,100 acres and the Bonito Rock Fire in southeastern Arizona burned around 1,800 acres.

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