At a community meeting Tuesday night, firefighting personnel tried to prepare those that have homes in Crown King for the worst. Reminding those in attendance that they can always replace a house or possessions, but you can't replace a person, Incident Commander Joe Reinarz said, "I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news."
A fuller report with photos and video will be available Wednesday morning, but in the meantime, here is the update information sent out by the USFS with the current status of the Gladiator Fire near Crown King.
Incident: Gladiator Wildfire – May 15, 2012 @9:30pm
Size: approximately 2,000 acres
Cause: Human Caused; originated from a structure fire on private property
Time/Date Started: Sunday, May 13 @11:00am
Location: Community of Crown King (T10N, R1W, S14)
Jurisdiction: Private property and the Prescott National Forest
Fuels: Ponderosa pine and chaparral
Values at Risk: The community of Crown King and the Horsethief Basin. Additional threats are posed to Forest Service campgrounds, lookout towers, communications sites, power lines and historic sites within the forest.
Terrain: Steep, rugged, difficult access
Resources: 3 Type-1 Crews, 4 Type-2 Crews, 11 Engines, 3 Type-1 Helicopters, 1 Type-3 Helicopter, 6 Type-1 Airtankers, Air Attack
Total no. of personnel: 462
Injuries to date: 2
A community meeting is planned for Wednesday, May 16 at 6:00 pm at the Mayer High School, 17300 E. Mule Deer Drive, Spring Valley, AZ.
Forecasted drier weather and associated strong winds may continue to complicate suppression efforts. Winds from the southeast and south are expected to push the fire north and northwest on Wednesday. Fire behavior is expected to be extreme. Firefighters continue working to suppress the fire and provide structure protection to homes in the community. Firefighting resources will focus on perimeter control when they can do so safely. Crews are also working to protect structures and communication sites west of the fire. In areas where direct attack is not feasible, they will focus on protecting individual structures ahead of the fire.
All roads leading into the community of Crown King are closed. The Cleator - Crown King Road (County Road 59) is closed at Cleator. The Senator Highway to Crown King (County Road 52) is closed at Palace Station. Forest Road 192 is closed. A Closure Order is in effect for all Prescott National Forest land south of County Road 177.
A mandatory evacuation remains in effect for the community of Crown King. An evacuation center has been established for the residents of Crown King at the Mayer High School - 17300 E Mule Deer Drive, Spring Valley, AZ. Red Cross personnel will be on hand to assist those arriving from Crown King and can be reached at 928-237-6751. The Red Cross CANNOT provide information on the status of the fire or evacuation order specifics. If someone is trying to locate family or friends from the Crown King area, please call 928-237-6751.
Remember, Fire Ban in Place
Yavapai County fire ban in effect across all fire ban zones: Northern, Central, Southern and Eastern. The following are prohibited:
· All open fires and campfires.
· Other types of outdoor fires that produce open flames such as lamp oil in tiki lamps.
· Fireworks and other pyrotechnic displays.
· Outdoor use of equipment that generates open flames or a spark. This restricts the use of welding equipment and chain saws.