Today was a pivotal day for the fire crews battling the Gladiator Fire that started near Crown King. Lower winds were expected and the nearly 900 firefighters working on the fire were ready to attack it early. The fire has grown to 12,898 acres in the seven days since it started and is currently only 10% contained. If has not only caused the evacuation of Crown King, but also the small communities of Battle Flat, Pine Flats and Turkey Creek. So far six fire fighter injuries have been reported, of those we know that at least 2 were from dehydration, and at least one was from burns sustained while fighting the fire. So far the the Gladiator Fire has cost over $4,000,000 to fight.
Today around 4:15pm conditions were favorable enough to start a back burn around the Wildflower Communication towers to help protect them. While the temperature was warmer than previous days, calm winds that averaged around 10mph gave crews an opportunity to conduct the back burns. Crews were also busy using bulldozers to create fire lines on the western front of the fire starting in the Battle Flat area and working south. Fire lines along Senator HWY were also being reinforced.
Looking at the fire maps the containment lines close to Crown King and on the Southeast side of the fire appear to continue to be expanded. Every inch of containment this close to town is good news for Crown King. With winds
subsiding, the fire is expected to change from a wind driven fire to more of a terrain driven fire. This means that the fire will advance based on the terrain and topography of the land and less with the wind as had been happening for the last few days.
The generator that was delivered to town Thursday night/Friday morning, is working perfect and is supplying ample power to the Crown King General Store and the Crown King Fire Department. APS has still not been able to start working on repairing the power lines. The last official count that I was given was that seven power poles had burned, but that was on Tuesday of this week. based on the path of the fire in days since, I would expect that many more have burned. Once APS is allowed to start working on replacing the burned poles, it will most likely take a number of days to place them, so expect power to continue to be out for Crown King for more time than anticipated.
We will continue to monitor the progress of the fire and make regular updates. Thank you again for all the support for the town of Crown King. Please comment below, and feel free to share a link to this page on Facebook.
All maps provided on this site are courtesy of the Southwest Incident Management Team (SWIMT) who is leading the fight against the Gladiator Fire. They are doing an excellent job and we appreciate the hard work they are doing.
I am currently working on another video and Google Earth Tour as donefor the post Crown King Gladiator Fire Day 5 Update 3 and will be posting it as soon as it is done uploading to YouTube. Make sure to check back tonight for another update.