Crooks Fire burns over 2,800 acres south of Prescott, is 5% contained

The Crooks Fire burning near Mount Union, about 10 miles south of Prescott, grew to 2,804 acres on Saturday, with no new evacuations since Tuesday afternoon.

The fire, reported Monday morning, was at 5% containment Saturday evening.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

CIIM Team 4 Operations Section Chief Kyle Jacobson said the fire spread about 300 acres to the southwest on Friday in the Ash Creek drainage.

In a Saturday night update, he said there was increased smoke activity coming from the southwest corner of the fire near the Ask Creek drainage.

Jacobson clarified, however, that this was not due to strong fire growth, but rather the burning of vegetation in the area.

According to Jacobson, aircraft fire crews worked Friday to contain the blaze and prevent it from spreading further west.

“Despite the difficult and very windy conditions we had yesterday and last night, crews made very good progress trying to get around this fire, increase containment and get people home as soon as possible,” Jacobson said on a Saturday. morning briefing.

Much lighter winds and cooler temperatures are expected Saturday through early next week, according to National Weather Service meteorologist Megan Taylor in Flagstaff.

Map of forest fires: Track where the fires are burning in Arizona in 2022

High humidity helped suppress the blazes on Friday, but drier conditions were forecast for Saturday, according to a news release from the Prescott National Forest.

InciWeb, a wildfire information tracking website, estimated the blaze could be 100% contained by May 4.

Only two structures have been reported damaged since Monday, but more information will be released when the location of the properties has been verified and owners have been notified, forestry officials said.

About 535 firefighters were assigned to the blaze on Friday afternoon.

A community meeting will be held Sunday at 6 p.m. at Embry Riddle University located at 37000 Willow Creek Drive in Prescott.

The meeting will be streamed live on the Prescott National Forest Facebook, according to a news release.

Where does the Crooks Fire burn?

Crooks Fire burns approximately 10 miles south of Prescott in the western portion of Prescott National Forest, east of Lookout Mountain, northwest of Yankee Doodle Peak Venezia, southeast to Mount Tritle and south of Potato Patch.

The fire reached Mount Union, Starlight Canyon, Mount Davis and Venezia.

The Forest Service closed sites Thursday evening in the Groom Creek and Lynx Lake recreation areas, White Spar Campground, Prescott Circle Trail and Prescott Basin. A complete list of what is closed can be found on the Forest Service website.

Evacuations in effect for Crooks Fire

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said Groom Creek should be ready to evacuate Thursday. The following areas are still in an evacuation state:

  • potato field
  • windy pines
  • Walker Road
  • belvedere mountain
  • Acres of Mountain Pines

No further evacuation orders were issued Thursday, but the sheriff’s office asked people nearby to be ready in case that changes.

The American Red Cross said shelter has been set up for residents affected by the fire at Yavapai College Gymnasium, 1100 E. Sheldon St. in Building 2, Prescott.

If anyone has questions or needs help, they can stop by or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767).

The Sheriff’s Office will continue to provide updates on evacuations.

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