In this Monday, July 22, 2019, photo, an air tanker drops retardant on a ridge overlooking the North Peak neighborhood as the Museum Fire burns north of Flagstaff, Ariz. At least 1000 acres have burned and the fire continues to grow as crews were trying to keep the wildfire in a popular Arizona vacation area from homes and a ski resort. (Tom Tingle/The Arizona Republic via AP)

Floods could inundate fire zone near Arizona mountain city

July 24, 2019 - 7:28 am

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) — Authorities are warning of possible flooding as thunderstorms are expected to drench a forested Arizona city where a wildfire has scarred a mountainous area overlooking it and prompted anxious residents to pack up prized possessions.

The National Weather Service said in a statement that numerous thunderstorms were expected in the Flagstaff area Wednesday and Thursday that could produce heavy rain, lightning and gusty winds.

The fire has charred about 2 square miles (5.4 square kilometers) in a mountain pass that's a prime recreation area near Flagstaff.

About two dozen homes have been evacuated and residents of 5,000 homes were previously told they might have to leave.

Gov. Doug Ducey declared a state of emergency, freeing $200,000 in state funding for the effort to battle the blaze in Coconino National Forest.