Fire officials ask public to not drive near the Tussock fire; observe closures
Updated as of Wednesday, May 12, 2021 6:24 PM
Nearly 200 additional firefighters and heavy equipment operators arrived Tuesday to help battle the Tussock fire burning southwest of Crown King, prompting incident officials to ask summer visitors and residents in the region to drive carefully and avoid the area.
Areas within the Prescott National Forest and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) remain closed for public and firefighter safety.
According to a May 13 news release from Prescott National Forest Service, heavy equipment is deployed to clear thick brush and improve access for crews working on the fire’s western perimeter. A total of seven helicopters are on scene, dropping water and retardant to keep the fire in check on the northern perimeter where firefighter access is limited by the steep and rugged terrain.
On the fire’s eastern side, personnel are burning fuels just west of the Crown King Trail to create a fire line. Grass continues to burn along the southern flank toward Silver Creek and is moving southeasterly toward Sand and French creeks. Smokey conditions are likely, the news release states.
Temperatures and winds will be increasing through Friday with no helpful humidity. Vegetation is already drought-stressed and easy to ignite. Wet weather conditions are not forecast to aid firefighting until next week.
Minnehaha, Fort Misery and Horse Thief Basin are evacuated; however, Crown King remains at "SET." Residents should begin preparing in the event an evacuation order is issued. Crown King is closed to non-residents.
The Ready, Set, Go! initiative is a nationwide program adopted by the 15 Arizona sheriffs that educates residents about proactive measures to take before an emergency and actions to follow when communities are threatened.
The three steps encourage Arizonans to get "READY" by preparing now for what threatens their community, be "SET" by maintaining awareness of significant danger, and to "GO," evacuate immediately when the danger is current and life-threatening.
More information on READY-SET-GO is available online at ein.az.gov/ready-set-go
PUBLIC LAND CLOSURES
Public lands within the BLM Hassayampa Field Office are closed. All Prescott National Forest lands, roads, and trails south of NFSR94 (along NFSR82A to the junction of NFSR52), and south to the junction of CR177 east are closed, including Senator Highway (FR 52) between Hooper Saddle (FR 362) and Crown King (FR 259).
Additionally, the area of Cow Tank Road, that leads to FR 711 near Lake Pleasant is closed. People should not travel into any of the fire areas.
More information is available online on the Tussock fire Incident Information System web page, https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/7472.
Information provided by Prescott National Forest.