Sunday, May 20, 2012

High temps, low humidity mean extreme fire behavior for Gladiator Fire today

Gladiator Fire
May 20, 2012 @ 9:00 am
Size:  Approximately 12,898 acres                   Containment:  12%
Cause:  Human caused; originated from a structure fire on private property  
Time/Date Started:    Sunday, May 13 at 11:00 am
Location:  Community of Crown King (T10N, R1W, S14)
Fuels:  Ponderosa pine and chaparral
Values at Risk:  Community of Crown King, structures in Battle Flat, Pine Flats, and Turkey Creek areas, communications sites, power lines and historic sites within the Forest.
Residences Destroyed:  4
Terrain:  Steep, rugged, difficult access  
Resources:  13 Type-1 Crews, 13 Type-2 Crews, 36 Engines, 5 Dozers, 5 Type 1 Helicopters, 2 Type 2 Helicopters, 2 Type 3 Helicopters, Air Attack
Total no. of personnel:  1,048 personnel        Injuries to date:  6
Estimated Costs to Date: $5,222,906

There will be a community meeting for area residents at 3 pm, today, May 20 at the Mayer High School, 17300 East Mule Deer Drive, Spring Valley, AZ.  From 3 pm to 4 pm a fire update will be provided.  From 4 pm to 5 pm a tutorial will be presented on use of Google Earth to determine the location of your property in relation to the Gladiator Fire.


High temperatures and low humidity will contribute to very active to extreme fire behavior today, even though winds will be light.  Single digit humidity over the fire will be of several hours duration, allowing fire in very dry fuels to steadily increase in intensity. Probability of ignition is 100%, which means any windblown ember will ignite a new fire.

Crews will continue patrol around Crown King, looking for and suppressing any spot fires which may exist.  Firefighters will patrol and hold Forest Road 52, and may perform burnout operations to the west toward Senator Highway if necessary.  Crews are clearing brush along Senator Highway, and in the Pine Flat area masticators and chainsaw crews continue to reduce vegetative fuel.  On the east side of the fire, crews continue to strengthen contingency lines by clearing vegetation.

Light winds today will allow extensive use of helicopter bucket drops to cool the fire’s edge.
Smoke will be very visible today over the fire, as unstable air allows the smoke column to build.
A hotter, drier trend with higher winds is expected over the next few days.

An evacuation order remains in effect for the community of Crown King, and the Battle Flat, Pine Flat, and Turkey Creek areas. For questions about Evacuations and Roadblocks contact the Yavapai County Sherriff’s Office at 928-713-2709. Be aware that rumors of evacuations are abundant, and ONLY evacuation orders issued by the Sheriff’s Office are valid!
The Red Cross Reception Center is located at Mayer Elementary School, Mayer, AZ. Red Cross personnel can be reached at 928-237-6751. 

A Closure Order is in effect for all Prescott National Forest land south of County Road 177.
The following roads have been closed:
  • All roads leading into the community of Crown King are closed.
  • Cleator – Crown King Road (County Road 59) is closed at Cleator. 
·        Senator Highway to Crown King (County Road 52) is closed at the junction with Poland Rd. (County Road 58).  . 
·        Mayer-Bolander Road (County Road 177) is closed at the Forest Boundary.
·        Forest Road 711 is closed south of the Forest boundary at Cow Creek.
·        Forest Road 362 is closed south of the Forest boundary at Wagner.
·        Forest Road 192 is closed

A Yavapai County fire ban is in effect across all fire ban zones.  Prescott National Forest Campfire and Smoking Restrictions are also in effect.  For AZ Fire Info & Restrictions Information call 1-877-864-6985 or visit

For more smoke information and air quality forecasts, visit  Highway conditions  can be found at,, or by calling 511.
The public can obtain fire information via the following:
  • Gladiator Fire Information: 928-632-4368 or 928-632-4420 (7am to 10pm)
  • Prescott National Forest Fire Information Hotline: 928-777-5799 (recorded message)
  • Gladiator Fire Incident Website: or
  • Media duty officers:  928-515-9112 or 928-515-9142 (7 am to 10 pm)

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