Arizona Wildfire Videos Show State Burning, Tunnel Fire Seen From Space

Dramatic videos have shown the Tunnel Fire burning in Arizona, with an estimated 6,000 acres now on fire. Plumes of smoke from the fire have also been captured in satellite imagery from space.

The Tunnel Fire, which is located around 14 miles northeast of Flagstaff in Coconino County, started on Sunday, April 17 and has since spread rapidly due to "extremely high winds," the Arizona Emergency Information Network (AEIN) said Tuesday.

Officials said the fire is at zero containment as of late on Tuesday, while more than 200 firefighters and personnel are currently assigned to it.

One video, captured by Lisa Bussett, shows large quantities of smoke emanating from the fire on April 19 as she drives along a road past a forested area. The smoke becomes thicker as visibility drops.

"I woke with a windy but peaceful solitude of watching elk graze through our campsite as I drank my morning coffee," she wrote in an Instagram post. "A few hours later my phone began to sound with emergency alerts to evacuate the area.

"Even though I couldn't see the smoke where I was, the fire is not far from the start of the road we were camped on, so I quickly threw things onto the bed and hoofed it out of there. Besides, fire is not something I mess around with, especially while camped deep inside a dry forest ... Thankfully we did that, just as USFS rangers were coming in to clear everyone out."

Another clip, posted to Facebook by Arizona Wildfire Management (AWM) on Tuesday, shows the fire burning several trees and vegetation on the ground at nighttime.

#TunnelFire Flagstaff. This wind driven, fast moving fire is not stopping, and will eat everything in its path. If you are in a Go status, get out!...

"This wind driven, fast moving fire is not stopping, and will eat everything in its path. If you are in a GO status, get out!" AWM said.

On Tuesday morning, the Coconino County Sheriff's Office began evacuation operations in the Timberline-Fernwood areas north of Flagstaff along Highway 89 after receiving a "GO" order was issued for residents close to the fire.

A GO order means people in the affected areas should evacuate immediately due to imminent and life-threatening danger. The Red Cross has set up a shelter at a local school for those affected by the evacuations.

tunnel fire
The Tunnel Fire near Flagstaff, Arizona. An estimated 6,000 acres is currently on fire. Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management via Storyful

"I cannot stress enough how rapidly this fire is moving in a northeasterly direction," Fire Management Officer True Brown, from the U.S. Forest Service, said on Tuesday night, according to the Associated Press, stressing the importance of leaving the fire area.

More than 2,000 people live in the affected area, according to officials. As of late Tuesday, more than 700 households had been evacuated in Coconino County, county supervisor Patrice Horstman said.

Another video, posted to Facebook by Midwest & Great Lakes Storm Chasers, shows the Tunnel Fire from space in imagery captured by a satellite.

Satellite of the ongoing tunnel fire in Arizona. US 89 closed north of Flagstaff. US 89 is closed in both directions north of Flagstaff, due to a brush...

The video description noted that Highway 89 has been closed in both directions north of Flagstaff due to the fire between mileposts 425 and 435.

The cause of the Tunnel Fire is still under investigation, according to officials. The number of structures lost to date has not yet been confirmed but the Coconino County Sheriff's Office has estimated that around 25 have been destroyed as a result of the blaze, with many more at risk.

The Coconino County Board of Supervisors has declared a State of Emergency due to the impacts of the Tunnel Fire. This enables the county to receive emergency funds and request assistance from the state of Arizona.