Crews make progress to contain Crooks Fire at 5% despite high winds
Community meeting to be held Sunday at Embry-Riddle
Despite the significant wind activity on Friday, April 22, the Crooks Fire saw minimal growth through Saturday morning, April 23, as firefighters were successful in holding the northern flank and preventing further spread, according to a news release from the Prescott National Forest.
The fire, located 10 miles south of Prescott-Bradshaw Ranger District (T12N, R2W, SEC 12) near Mt. Union, only grew to 2,804 acres and is now 5% contained. Compared to the update from fire officials Friday morning, the fire was at 2,356 acres and zero percent contained.
Helicopters dropped water and fixed-wing aircraft dropped retardant to protect structures on the east side of Lookout Mountain. Hand crews and dozers completed a direct line on Big Bug Road to Moscow Peak. Fire managers scouted for opportunities for constructing control lines on the southern flank.
On Saturday, hand crews continue to build a direct line south of Mt. Tritle to protect Lookout Mountain and structures. Ongoing work on securing the control line from Mt. Davis south to Moscow Peak will continue to prevent fire spread to the east.
Fire behavior is flanking and backing in the southern area of the fire. Heavy dead and down fuels are drought-stressed and very receptive to embers where fire can move up into the crowns of trees.
Higher humidity levels helped suppress burning and assist firefighters in slowing the growth. Much lighter winds will be present throughout Saturday, 5 to 10 mph, with gusts up to 20 mph with cooler temperatures and drier weather by this afternoon.
To provide public health and safety due to firefighting operations and fire danger associated with the uncontrolled Crooks Fire the Prescott National Forest has implemented a fire area emergency closure. To view the Crooks Fire area closure order and map visit: Prescott National Forest - Alerts & Notices (usda.gov).
There is still no change to the evacuation status. Breezy Pines, Potato Patch, Walker, Lookout Mountain, Kamp Kipa, Mountain Pine Acres and Mt. Tritle remain in a GO status while Groom Creek remains in SET.
A community meeting will be held at 6 p.m., Sunday, April 24, at Embry Riddle University in the Hanger, 3700 Willow Creek Dr., Prescott. The meeting will be live-streamed on the Prescott National Forest Facebook. If you are unable to attend, the recording will be available to view afterward, visit: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzbIoBB-yAclQO_Hz0hBMQQ or https://www.facebook.com/PrescottNF.
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
Arizona Smoke Forecasting system information: https://azdeq.gov/wildfireforecast?fire=crooksfire