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Ridge Fire Update

Mohave County is closing its popular park in the Hualapai Mountains as a public safety measure due to a wildfire ignited by lighting last Sunday. Board of Supervisors Chairman Jean Bishop signed an emergency declaration Thursday, effectively closing Hualapai Mountain Park at sunrise Friday. 

Strong wind activity this week helped the Ridge Fire to grow to almost 2,300 acres by Thursday afternoon. No injuries are reported and no structures are threatened by the blaze that is burning about five miles south of the small community of Pine Lake. 

``The park closure is a prudent precaution to limit the number of persons in the Pine Lake area, particularly hikers in the park that would need to be located, notified and evacuated,” said county Communications Director Roger Galloway. ``It is also important to limit the current area traffic volume to avoid interference with fire resource movements.” 

Galloway said RV campers currently in the park will be allowed to stay, but they’ve been advised to be prepared for an immediate evacuation if it becomes necessary. He said Pine Lake residents have also been notified to be prepared to evacuate if ordered. 

Several roads and trails have been closed in the mountain range southeast of Kingman. About 140 personnel are working to contain the fire that is chewing through grass and brush in the foothills and trees in the higher elevation burn zone. 

``Firefighters continue to remove vegetation adjacent to roads, trails and natural features identified as potential containment features,” a Bureau of Land Management news release said. ``Aviation resources including airtankers and helicopters continue to support the efforts of firefighters on the ground.” 

Oversight of the Ridge Fire will transition over two days. 

``Due to increased incident complexity, predicted hot and dry weather and proximity of the fire to communities and critical communications infrastructure a Type 2 incident management team has been ordered,” the BLM said. ``That team is scheduled to transition with the Central Arizona West Zone Type 3 Incident Management Team Friday with a full transfer of management authority Saturday morning.” 

The fire is reported at 0% containment.

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