Hot shot firefighters arrive to battle Horse Fire
CROWN KING, Ariz. — A hot shot crew with additional firefighters and support equipment arrived Sunday to battle the Horse Fire that's forced evacuations in small mountain communities. The fire is seven miles northwest of Crown King; 18 miles south of Prescott on the Bradshaw Ranger District, burning through juniper, chaparral and timber.
The U.S. Forest Service said the blaze was showing "extreme fire behavior" and had grown to 14 square miles as of Sunday morning with zero containment so far.
Authorities said the wildfire fire began Thursday and its cause was under investigation.
It has been burning on juniper, chaparral, timber and 8-foot-high brush in a remote section of Prescott National Forest where firefighters face steep and rugged terrain.
Firefighting efforts are focused on the communities and infrastructure around it.
More than 250 firefighters were working the wildfire before the Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team assumed command of the wildfire Sunday.
On Friday, the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office sent evacuation orders for residents of Crown King, Minnehaha and Horsethief Cabins.
Crown King is home to roughly 100 residents.
Authorities said the last known fire in October within the Prescott National Forest was in 2007 and was stopped at 630 acres.
FULL FOREST SERVICE UPDATE: Sunday, Oct. 18, 925 a.m.
Acres: 8950 acres
Vegetation: Juniper, Chaparral and Timber
Start Date: Oct. 15, 2020: noon
Cause: Under Investigation
Origin Location: 7 Miles Northwest of Crown King; 18 miles south of Prescott, AZ on the Bradshaw Ranger District (T1N, R2W, S24)
According to a Forest Service news release Sunday, the Southwest Area Type 1 Incident Management Team assumed command of the Horse Fire Sunday with additional firefighters and support equipment arriving in Crown King, Arizona.
The Horse Fire is actively burning northwest of Crown King and about 18 miles south of Prescott in very remote areas of the Prescott National Forest. With brush as high as eight feet, dense vegetation, steep terrain, and limited access options, firefighters cannot be placed directly in front of the fire. Aircraft is and has been aggressively used since the fire began Thursday, for full suppression.
Firefighters are working Sunday to creative protection of the communities of Crown King, Minnehaha, Cleator Black Canyon City, Groom Creek, Ponderosa Park, Walker, Potato Patch, Pine Flat, Breezy Pines, Lookout Mountain, Wilhoit, Wagoner, Walnut Grove, and Prescott.
Additionally, crews are working to safeguard critical infrastructure: communication towers (Towers Mountain, Wildflower), APS Powerlines, Lookout Towers (Horsethief, Union and Spruce), transportation systems, as roads and bridges.
All roads leading into Crown King have been closed – Goodwin, Senator Highway at Palace Station, and County Road 59 from Cleator. Please avoid the area to allow emergency personnel access. Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office has issued a Code Red ‘Go’ for the communities of Crown King, Minnehaha, Horsethief Cabins and any private inholdings in and around the fire area. There are evacuations currently in effect. For information on the Code Red alerts issued you can visit the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page for updates or call (928) 771-3321 or to sign up for Code Red notifications visit Yavapai County Code Red Notification.
• Public phone: 928-235-2061, 928-362-4094 (6:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.)
• Inciweb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7244
• Arizona Emergency Information Network: https://ein.az.gov
• Forest Closure: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/article/7244/58100
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