Brush fire destroys 3 homes
COTTONWOOD — A resident burning weeds has been pinpointed as the source of a runaway brush fire that destroyed three mobile homes and damaged several vehicles.
Nearly 40 firefighters reported to fight the fire.
The blaze was reported at around 11:45 a.m. Saturday, May 13, on Ramada Drive, in an unincorporated area near the Verde River southeast of Cottonwood. The fire was already moving toward structures when Verde Valley Fire District was informed of the situation.
According to VVFD, three mobile homes had caught fire before crews arrived. The Cottonwood Fire Department, Copper Canyon Fire & Medical District, Verde Valley Ambulance and Sedona Fire District all responded through automatic aid.
The fire was on two properties. The neighborhood does not have fire hydrants, and crews had to set up multiple water tenders.
“Due to the tremendous fire load more resources were requested,” VVFD Chief Danny Johnson reported Saturday afternoon. “Initial reports from bystanders told firefighters there were two people in the structures. Firefighters began searching for the missing occupants while working to control the fire.”
The homeowners were located outside the buildings. One resident was taken to Verde Valley Medical Center for an unrelated medical issue.
The incident involved all the available fire resources in VVFD, CFD and CCFMD, so state mutual aid was made available for backup from elsewhere in Yavapai County as well as the Pine-Strawberry Fire District. In all, 37 firefighters, seven fire engines, four water tenders, two ambulances, a brush truck, two support vehicles and three command vehicles were needed in the firefight.
The Verde Valley Fire Investigations team was also on hand.
“Investigators from Verde Valley, Cottonwood and Jerome determined that the fire was started by a resident burning weeds with a torch,” Johnson reported. “Three mobile homes were a complete loss and multiple vehicles sustained heat damage.”