Crooks Fire spreads to 2,000 acres as of Thursday morning
Southern California Interagency Incident Management Team assumes control of battling blaze
A Southern California Interagency Incident Management Team has taken command of the firefighting efforts to battle the Crooks Fire, a news release reported the morning of April 21.
The fire, which started April 18 several miles south of Prescott, has spread to 2,000 acres on the Prescott-Bradshaw Ranger District near Mt. Union and is zero percent contained.
An Incident Management Team news release stated that the cause of the blaze remains under investigation and is burning brush and ponderosa pine and mixed conifer trees.
The release added that the Incident Management Team has assigned 342 personnel to fight the fire.
“Southern California Interagency Incident Management Team 4 assumed command of the Crooks Fire [April 20] at 6:00 pm and quickly held a community meeting,” the release stated.
To watch the recording of the Crooks Fire Community Meeting at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, visit bit.ly/3rIrtKk.
“We would like to thank the community last night [April 20] for [its] patience as we experienced technical difficulties [with the live video on Facebook],” the release added.
With increased fire activity and growth, firefighters say they have implemented “point protection where applicable and safe,” the release stated.
“Structure assessment activities are progressing in the communities in the immediate fire area,” the release added. “Spotting and fire spread to the west, north and northeast has resulted in firefighters identifying options ahead of the main fire, looking at roads and other natural features to limit [the] fire’s spread with the use of containment lines.”
The release stated that the fire is burning in “continuous thick, dry, dead, and down fuels in very rugged terrain.”
“Erratic winds and fire behavior [are] making conditions hazardous for firefighters,” the release added. “Firefighter and public safety is the number one objective. Firefighters are being directed to not put themselves in situations where the risks are high and probability of success is low. The consistent message from leaders to firefighters is ‘Nothing is worth you getting hurt,’ ”
Resources assigned to the Crooks Fire include three Type 2 Hand crews, four Type 1 Hotshot crews, 14 engines, five helicopters, miscellaneous equipment and overhead, the release stated.
The weather forecast on April 21 called for sunny skies and temperatures in the mid-60s with 22% humidity and winds moving 15-20 mph from the southwest with gusts as high as about 30 mph.
Walker Road, Potato Patch, Breezy Pines and the Mount Pines areas, as well as Lookout Mountain are in GO status, according to the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office, and Groom Creek is in SET status.
Information about current evacuations is listed on the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page at facebook.com/YavapaiCountySheriff/.
To protect the public’s health and safety due to firefighting operations and the dangers associated with the Crooks Fire, the Prescott National Forest has implemented a fire area emergency closure, the release stated.
To read the closure order and view the map, visit bit.ly/3k2kwj8.
For updated information on the Crooks Fire as it progresses, visit dCourier.com and read The Daily Courier.
Fire Information: 928-925-1111, from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Code RED: https://public.coderedweb.com/CNE/en-US/A45C10E5EC0F?fbclid=IwAR1SYjO7ZiXpsORXlVyZf3j1TMvmWvJLRIA7Xvh6lXbj9kpth8z_ZM7rMcM
Prescott NF Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/PrescottNF
Prescott NF Twitter: https://twitter.com/PrescottNF
Prescott National Forest, https://www.fs.usda.gov/prescott/
Prescott Area Wildland Urban Interface Commission, yavapaifirewise.org
Yavapai County Emergency Management, https://yavapaiaz.gov/publicworks/emergency-management.