Crown King Gladiator Fire – Day 6 Update 1

The Gladiator Fire has been burning north of Crown King, AZ now for 6 days.

Crown King Gladiator Fire Map 5-18-12
Fire Progression Map: Courtesy of SWIMT

Good afternoon everyone.  Sorry for the delay in the update.  There will be two parts of this update, the first being the official status of the fire as reported by incident command and the second being what I witnessed when driving up a replacement generator last night to town.

The Gladiator Fire is currently the number 1 priority fire in the nation and as many resources as possible are being directed towards saving Crown King.  As of last night there were more than 700 firefighters battling the Gladiator Fire north of Crown King.  140 more fire fighters are expected to arrive today to assist in the efforts.  As we stated yesterday, the crews are pulling off the immediate lines and are working on creating much larger fire breaks further out in front of the fire.  The plan now is to stop the fire at the Goodwin Rd on the North Flank and Senator HWY to the West.  Today is expected to be the windiest day yet so expect lots of smoke in the air when looking towards Crown King.  Crews are still worried about it flanking around town on the West side and coming in town.  Cleator may be asked to evacuate in the next day or so as the fire is getting closer to their town.

As I mentioned in the last post, the generator in town that had been supplying the Crown King General Store and the Crown King Fire Department started going out.  We were able to track down a 60k generator from Empire Cat after hours and take it up to Crown King last night.  A huge thank you to Empire Cat Rentals that returned to their shop even though they were closed and got us a rental generator we could take up.  We arrived in Mayer around 10pm to get our pass to go up the hill and arrived in Crown King around 12:30am after being processed at all the different checkpoints.

I will record another video as I did yesterday describing what I saw with an overview of the fire map so you get a better idea of

Crown King Area Gladiator Fire Map 5-18-12
Area Map. Courtesy Of: SWIMT

the fire lines.  The fire is definitely burning closer to Cleator than I expected.  It is also burning very hot on the North side of the Desoto Mine.  The area just before the first switchback has all burned as well as the canyon that is overlooked by the Peck and Swastika Mines.  At midnight the fire was still burning extremely hot and tall flames were seen all over the canyons.  It has crossed to the road to the East of the switchbacks and is burning there.  While it was very dark out and we couldn’t see beyond 10ft off the side of the road we tried to get the best idea of where the fire had burned.  There were a number of spots that had burned entirely going up but there were also plenty of spots that hadn’t.  With it being dark, we could see the glowing embers in the night to get an idea of where the hot spots were.  Once we went the the sharp curve known as “Grapevine” and “Peanut Butter Pass” we couldn’t see any active fire hot spots all the way in to town which is good news.  There was one or two little flickers of light down in Hell’s Hole, but nothing like I was expecting.  The majority of fire activity at least near the road was further from town than i was expecting.  I believe hat the fire crews do have that Southeast flank contained as they are reporting.

Once in town, Crown King looked as great as ever, just much darker.  There were two Yavapai County Sheriffs Officers at the General Store.  The town was very quiet but then again it was also very late.  The good news was that from the front porch of the

Generator delivered to Crown King
Carl Shaffer and Dane Briggs deliver 60kw Generator to town.

Crown King General Store you could not see and sign of fire last night.  No glowing sky, no smell of smoke, nothing.  We know the fire is still closer to town than we could tell, but it was refreshing to feel like the town was going to be safe. We were able to get the generator connected and left town around 3am and returned to Phoenix around 5am.  It was a long night but the generator will be more than enough for what is needed.  A big thank you to Carl Schaffer who helped find the generator and drive it up to town.  Watch the first video on Day 2 Update 3 for info on Carl’s house and how it was protected from the fire by designing it to withstand forest fires.   Also thank you to the Arizona Virtual Jeep Club that posted our request on their page and many members of their group were helping look for a generator.  We are excited for their next run to Crown King.

As soon as it is deemed safe they are working on getting residents to return as soon as possible, but that is going to be a few days still.  I imagine that as long as the fire is burning along the main road to town, it will be too dangerous for them to open the road.  Also they are making sure that they don’t let us back, only to have the fire flank the West side and have to evacuate again.

The two maps being used show both the general area view of the fire as well as the fire progression chart so you can see where the fire has burned each day.  I will be doing another Google Earth flyover video later today as well as providing updates about the fire and its activity today.  Remember we love to read your comments below as well as appreciate you sharing our page on Facebook.

27 thoughts on “Crown King Gladiator Fire – Day 6 Update 1”

  1. I don’t live in or near any active fires in Az. I do however want to say thank you to all involed including the Fire fighters, Media, Red Cross, and anyone else I have miss. Be Safe and God bless y’all. #AzFires

  2. Looking at the InciWeb Burn Severity Maps it appears the fire may have come  out of the ravine and consumed our home today on the Del Pasco/Gladiator Road (Cloud Mine).  Hoping to hear that no more homes were burned today, but it is not looking good.     :..( 

    1.  I haven’t heard of any more structures burning on the radio traffic, but will see what i can find out. 

        1. if you get a chance go back to yesterday and read what i left for a message badbadwolfe

      1. The InciWeb map as of a few minutes ago also shows our neighbors home as inside the fire’s perimeter.  Crossing fingers that the coordinates for the fire boundary on Gladiator/Del Pasco Road are off a little. Here’s hoping. 

  3. Thanks so much for keeping us updated. You are  in my prayers, that everyone will be safe, & there will be no more structures lost. May God be with all of the courageous  firefighters who are putting their lives on the line,  to get this fire  out.

  4. Thanks for keeping us updated. The map was very helpful! Its a good visual! My prayers are still with everyone involved. We are heading to the School to bring water and to the animal shelter to bring food on Sat. God Bless.

  5.  Having slept one night upstairs in the old saloon in 89 or 90 & spent 2 or 3 years bringing in the new year in one of the cabins as well as almost buying a place up there, I’m sure hoping for the fire to miss any & all homes & businesses………….
     Was & hope it still is a fantastic friendly little community.

  6. thanks for the update – my sister & her husband own the mill restaurant up there, so we’re watching it all closely   
    If you see Sam or Mike tell them Mark & Gloria said Hi & we’re praying for everyone

  7. I am a native Phoenician and, as stated yesterday, Crown King and the surrounding communities are easily my favorite places to relax and enjoy–on earth!  The people seem like family.  I so appreciate these updates and pray that all are safe and thank all emergency responders for their efforts.  Here’s to hoping that the winds calm, the fire-breaks effective, and property loss minimal.   Take Care

  8. we come up as often as we can we have grown to love the town and its people. my prayers go out to all of you.

  9. I need to tell everyone that Dane is the best wingman someone can have going up a mountian on fire at 12:30 in the morning.  My little orange hummer H3 (although a V8 Alpha) was having a tough time pullling the 5,000#’s of trailer wire and fuel up the mountain.  The turn your heater on high when its 90 degrees out does the trick everytime when you car starts to overheat 4-5 times! 
    On the way down we turned off the cars lights and stopped numerous time to take pics like tourists which in hindsight probably wasn’t the smartest thing to do since my hand never stopped shaking from the adrenaline rush I was having.
    All in all I would do it again tonight if needed.  I love that town and it’s town folk!  Just my little contribution for having our home rescued on Monday and again on Tuesday. 

  10. Keep the faith!!   We made it through the Wallowfire last year by a block!!  We are praying for all the fire personnel and those that have been evacuated!  Our family has owned Green Mountain (Spud ranch) since the late 1800’s.  We have notified  the Forest Service that we have an underground spring and they are welcome to all the water!!  My brother and I attended the Crown King Schoolhouse in the 1950’s… Dad & Grandpa would get laid off every Winter by the SP RR and we would live at the cabin until they were called for work again.   We have spent many a Summer up there, the folks spent 20 years up there before Mom (Imogene) died and then, dad (Cliff).  My brothers, Doug and Bill and myself  will rebuild!!  It may be just a shack , but none the less, we will be back, if our 20 acres should burn.  We have too many memories  growing up there, then bringing our children up there…we ain’t down yet and won’t be!!   The guns shall shoot again, but not at the road!!   You are not alone and prayer circles are functioning on behalf of all of us…in Greer, Round Valley, Prescott, Paulden, Flagstaff, and 9 states we have lived in while I was a Civil Engineer.  My wife and kids made friends everyplace we lived…our oldest, Tami (Collup) Scheinman  has already written to you.
    You are in our thoughts and prayers,  Chuck and Gretchen Collup

    1. The Wallow fire was a rough one, glad you made it through. And thank you for the support of the town.

  11. We built the first cabin in the Acres, in 1950s, on Torpedo Rd. Your reports and virtual tours are so helpful (and reassuring). Thank you!

    1. We are glad the map helped. And thank you for enjoying Crown King for such a long time!

  12. To any of the evacuees, if you have any needs please contact the Red Cross, theyhave coordinated with one of the churches in the area who want to help with physical
    donations that you might need.  We are standing by waiting to serve and Bless you all.

  13. Will we be told when power is restored to town.  I have 2 refrigerators and a full size freezer up there and am assuming all food is spoilt and perhaps we will have to buy new.   I would love to go home, though not without power. 

  14. Anything we can do let us know!!! We have a 3/4 ton Dodge desiel and a huge double axle flat bed trailer….anything else needs to go up call us…Chris and John Shill 602-722-5753 anytime!!! Our cabin on towers mtn rd is our dream….we just bought it in January after going to Crown King for the last 25 years…..we are sure our dream will still be alive one way or another! Most of you know our cabin as the A frame that should have fallen over years ago…next to shoulder Bob and Ray….we are never going to let it fall over and if it goes we will re-build! Let us know what we can do…we are here!!! (Nwe River) waiting to go HOME!

  15. Still Praying for the town, the residents (part and full time) and the firefighters.  Cant’s imagine not having the family home to go to when we need to get away for peace and quiet, have a special family time, or just plain have fun! The friendliness and helpfulness of the people of Crown King is an important thing that has kept me coming back since the 70’s.
    God Bless you all!! and a Big thanks to everyone working so hard to save Crown King and those who are Praying for their safety!!

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