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Update: Evacuation of Pine Flat under way due to Cellar Fire
Type 1 team takes command; community meeting 6 p.m. Thursday

A fire closure order went into effect Thursday morning, July 18. It includes everything south of Wolf Creek including Potato Patch, south to the community of Crown King, which remains open for business. (PNF/Courtesy)

A fire closure order went into effect Thursday morning, July 18. It includes everything south of Wolf Creek including Potato Patch, south to the community of Crown King, which remains open for business. (PNF/Courtesy)

UPDATE - July 18 at 4:11 p.m.:

The Yavapai County Sheriff's Office has reported the evacuation of Pine Flat is under way, according to Christopher Wilson with the YCSO.

"This is a 'Go' message from the Sheriff's Office. There is a wildfire threatening. A mandatory evacuation has been issued for residents located in Pine Flats," he stated in an email just after 4 p.m. "There is a significant danger to you, gather necessary items and go."

Shelter has been set up at Prescott High School. For assistance, residents should call 928-771-3260 or 911.

A Code Red ‘READY’ remains for the communities of Walker, Groom Creek, Wolf Creek, Potato Patch, Indian Creek and Crown King.

For information on the Code Red alerts, go to the YCSO Facebook page at www.facebook.com/YavapaiCountySheriff or call 928-771-3321.

ORIGINAL POST:

The Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team #1 assumed command of the Cellar Fire at 6 a.m. Thursday, July 18, four days after the lighting-started blaze began near Wagoner.

Additional firefighters are arriving as well to fight the blaze, which was at about 6,450 acres and 0% contained Thursday morning, officials with the Prescott National Forest (PNF) said in a news release.

photo

A Cellar Fire perimeter map showing where there have been historic fires. (PNF/Courtesy)

“Firefighters are actively engaged in fully suppressing the fire where they can do so safely and effectively,” PNF spokesperson Debbie Maneely said in the release. “This includes protecting values at risk including private property and infrastructure in and around Pine Flats, Potato Patch, Wolf Creek, Groom Creek, Indian Creek Walker and Crown King.”

Fire officials anticipate the fire’s intensity to potentially increase as hot, dry weather persists in the area, Maneely said.

Firefighters are improving and holding the anchor point on the southwest flank of the fire, she said. They’re also assessing structure protection needs and will be implementing structure protection as needed. Airtankers are dropping retardant to support hotshot crews on the ground in holding and securing the west flank of the fire.

Seven hotshot crews, seven airtankers, four helicopters, six Type 2 initial attack crews, two dozers and 18 fire engines were working the fire Thursday morning.

There are still no evacuations currently in effect. As a precaution, the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office (YCSO) has issued a Code Red ‘SET’ for the community of Pine Flat; and a Code Red ‘READY’ for the communities of Walker, Groom Creek, Wolf Creek, Potato Patch, Indian Creek and Crown King.

For information on the Code Red alerts, go to the YCSO Facebook page at www.facebook.com/YavapaiCountySheriff or call 928-771-3321.

FOREST CLOSURE

A Prescott National Forest Cellar fire closure order went into effect Thursday morning, PNF officials said. It includes everything south of Wolf Creek including Potato Patch, south to the community of Crown King, which remains open for business.

Detailed information and a map are available on Inciweb at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6443.

As a reminder to the public, wildfires are a No Drone Zone.

“If you fly, we can’t,” Maneely said in the release. “Every time a drone is spotted near the fire all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of this area.”

COMMUNITY MEETING

A Cellar Fire community meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 18, at Glassford Hill Middle School, 9601 E. Panther Path, in Prescott Valley.

American Sign Language (ASL) and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) services will be provided. Officials plan to livestreamed the meeting on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PrescottNF and the recording will be posted after the meeting is over. If the livestream doesn’t work or the connection is lost, highlights will be posted along with the recording afterward. No Facebook account is required to view the video.

EMERGENCY PHONE BANK ACTIVATED

The Yavapai County Emergency Management office has activated the emergency phone bank to answer questions about the Cellar Fire.

The Phone bank will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and can be reached at 928-442-5103 or 928-925-1111.

Follow Max Efrein on Twitter @mefrein, email him at mefrein@prescottaz.com or call him at 928-445-3333 ext. 1105.

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