Saturday was a success for firefighters on day 13 of the Crooks Fire. Smoke was minimal and the fire grew by only 9 acres. Crews from across Arizona and the nation working the fire made great progress protecting homes and holding the fire from moving north. Firefighters on the day and night shifts focused on ‘firewise’ structure defense and preparing for Red Flag critical fire weather expected Sunday. Due to the hard work on the fire, hundreds of participants were able to join the Whiskey 50 bike race event that occurred across the Prescott National Forest.
Today’s critical weather will test the fire. Red Flag extreme fire conditions from 11am-7pm will bring gusty southwest winds and low humidity to challenge fire containment lines. Hot spots on the fire, stimulated by gusts, may become active and spread. The northwest side of the fire near Mt. Tritle, a priority, is heavily forested and full of dead and downed trees, stoking fire risks. Firefighters are on high alert, focused on safety. Slate Creek and Ash Creek Ridge above Crooks Creek are places of highest concern.
WEATHER: Today, strong southwest winds and low humidity will lead to a round of critical fire weather and a Red Flag Warning is in effect from 11:00am to 7:00pm MST. Expect southwest winds sustained around 20mph with gusts above 40mph near ridgetops and southwest aspects. Afternoon humidity could drop near 10%.
SMOKE INFORMATION: Residents should be aware of increasing smoke conditions do to winds out of the south. Residents can monitor current conditions for the Crooks Fire, via Arizona Smoke Forecasting system located at https://azdeq.gov/wildfireforecast?fire=crooksfire
EVACUATIONS: Several areas remain in both the “READY” and “SET” status. Residents should continue to monitor the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Department Facebook page for additional information. https://www.facebook.com/YavapaiCountySheriff/
FOREST CLOSURE: To provide public health and safety due to firefighting operations and fire danger
associated with the uncontrolled Crooks Fire the Prescott National Forest has expanded the fire area emergency closure to the south. To view the Crooks Fire area closure order and map visit: Prescott National Forest - Alerts & Notices (usda.gov)
A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in place: Wildfires are a NO Drone Zone. Flying recreational and media drones within a TFR is illegal and impedes fire suppression efforts. Report drones to local law enforcement. If You Fly, We Can’t!
- Location: 11 nautical miles south of Prescott-Bradshaw Ranger District (T12N, R2W, SEC 1), near Mt Union.
- Start Date: April 18, 2022
- Size: Approximately 9402 acres, 38% Containment
- Cause: Under Investigation
- Vegetation: Timber (Litter and Understory), Chaparral (6 feet)
- Number of Personnel Assigned: 857