Gladiator Fire - May 17, 2012 @9:00 am

Release Date: May 17, 2012   Prescott, AZ 86302

Size:  Approximately6,573 acres                   Containment:  5%

Cause:  Human caused; originated from a structure fire on private property  

Time/Date Started:    Sunday, May 13 at 11:00 am

Location:  Community of Crown King (T10N, R1W, S14)

Jurisdiction:  Private property and the Prescott National Forest

Fuels:  Ponderosa pine and chaparral

Values at Risk:  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.

Residences Destroyed:  4

Terrain:  Steep, rugged, difficult access  

Resources:  8 Type-1 Crews, 8 Type-2 Crews, 18 Engines, 4 Type-1 Helicopters, 2 Type-3 Helicopter, 6 Type-1 Airtankers, Air Attack

Total no. of personnel:  537                          Injuries to date:  3

A community meeting is planned for Thursday, May 17 at 6:00 pm at the Mayer High School, 17300 E. Mule Deer Drive, Spring Valley, AZ.   

AnEvacuation Order remains in effect for the community of Crown King. 

Effective May 16, the Red Cross Shelter/Evacuation Center was relocated to

Bradshaw Mountain High School East Campus; 6144 N. Robert Rd; Prescott Valley, AZ  86314.  Red Cross personnel can be reached at 928-237-6751.

Extreme fire behavior was exhibited yesterday as the fire spread north and east. Red Flag winds are expected today from noon until 10:00 p.m. with gusts up to 40 mph.  Winds from the southwest are expected to continue to push the fire to the north, away from Crown King.  Due to the increased growth and progression into steep, rugged terrain, firefighters have shifted their overall strategy to a more indirect approach.  However they will continue to look for opportunities to construct direct fireline where they can do so safely and effectively.

Today Airtankers will work the west flank of the fire near the communication towers to check the fire’s spread to allow hot shot crews to scout the area and construct direct line as conditions are favorable.  Firefighters continue to remove vegetation around structures, prepare contingency lines cleared down to mineral soil, and thin the canopy in Crown King and around structures and communication towers west of the fire. These efforts are in preparation for terrain driven fire activity anticipated when Red Flag conditions subside. 

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. 

Prescott National Forest Campfire and Smoking Restrictions are in effect:

  • Campfires, charcoal grills, and stove fires (wood, charcoal, and coal burning) are prohibited on all Prescott National Forest lands, roads, and trails; except within developed recreation sites where grills and campfire rings are provided (Pressurized liquid or gas stoves, lanterns and heaters meeting safety specifications are allowed).
  • Smoking is prohibited except within enclosed vehicles, buildings, or developed recreation sites where the area is cleared of all flammable material.
  • Campfires are not allowed at the designated dispersed sites within the Prescott Basin.  Metal posts identify designated dispersed sites with a number.

A Closure Order is in effect for all Prescott National Forest land south of County Road 177.

  • All roads leading into the community of Crown King are closed.
  • Cleator – Crown King Road (County Road 59) is closed at Cleator. 
  • Senator Highway to Crown King (County Road 52) is closed at Goodwin. 
  • Forest Road 192 is closed. 
  • Forest Road 711 is closed at the southern boundary of the Forest.

Expect smoke in the area.  Smoke sensitive individuals in affected areas may need to take action to mitigate the conditions.  Remaining indoors, using air conditioning or temporarily moving to an unaffected area may be necessary. Visibility is an excellent measure of air quality.  If visibility is ten miles or more, the air quality is good.  Visibility of six to nine miles indicates moderate air quality.  Three to five miles of visibility indicates conditions unhealthy for sensitive groups.  One and a half to two and a half miles, the air quality is unhealthy.  One to one and a quarter miles indicates the air quality is very unhealthy.  If visibility due to smoke is less than a mile, the air quality is hazardous.  For more smoke information and air quality forecasts, visit http://www.azfireinfo.com/links.asp#Smoke.

The public can obtain fire information via the following:

  • Gladiator Fire Information, call 928-632-4368 or 928-632-4420 (7am to 10pm)
  • Prescott National Forest Fire Information Hotline: 928-777-5799 (recorded message)
  • Gladiator Fire Incident Website: http://www.inciweb.org or www.fs.fed.us/r3/prescott
  • For media interviews at the Mayer High School, call (505) 235-4213.
  • AZ Fire Info & Restrictions: 1-877-864-6985 or http://wildlandfire.az.gov.