Wildfire that prompted arrest of West Monroe man now 31% contained

Current resources on the Pipeline Fire include 561 personnel composed of 12 Hotshot crews and 7 hand crews, 54 engines, 9 water tenders and two dozers.
Authorities downgraded evacuation orders Tuesday, but people in about 700 homes still were under orders to stay out of the area.
Published: Jun. 15, 2022 at 12:49 PM CDT
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MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Crews continue to battle an Arizona wildfire that federal officers suspect was started by a man from West Monroe.

According to the latest status update on the Pipeline Fire just north of Flagstaff, the fire is now 31% contained. The number of acres affected by the fire is now at approximately 23,000. Fires spread much slower in the last 24 hours than they did during the prior 24 hours when the affected area went from 5,000 acres to about 20,000 acres.

A status report posted on Wednesday said, “While critical fire weather continues due to dry conditions and high temperatures, lower wind speeds allowed aerial operations to resume and continue throughout the day. In addition to using water and retardant dropping aircraft, crews will continue to look for opportunities to directly engage the fire with the intent to suppress the fire’s edge and to keep the fire from entering communities as it continues to move in a northeast direction. Crews continue to use the 2010 Schultz Fire and recent Tunnel Fire footprints to their advantage.

“Current resources on the Pipeline Fire include 561 personnel composed of 12 Hotshot crews and 7 hand crews, 54 engines, 9 water tenders and two dozers.”

Investigators suspect the fire started due to the actions of Matthew Riser, 57, who admitted to igniting toilet paper nearby.

Riser appeared in court on Monday for a pretrial hearing, according to the Arizona Daily Sun. The paper reported that Riser will have a detention and status hearing on Thursday.

No injuries have been reported.

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