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Crooks Fire closure area expanded; fire restrictions announced for Prescott National Forest

Crooks Fire
Inciweb
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Smoke from the Crooks Fire in the Bradshaw Mountains seen from the Mt. Union Lookout on Sat, April 23.

Officials on the Prescott National Forest have expanded the closure area put in place because of the Crooks Fire burning in the Bradshaw Mountains. They say the aim of the decision is to increase public health and safety as the fire continues to actively burn. The closure includes a broad swath of forest land stretching from just south Prescott to the town of Crown King. The restrictions will be in place until Tue, May 3. State Route 89 remains open in the area.

Forest officials will implement stage 1 fire restrictions across the entire Prescott National Forest beginning Thu, May 5. It prohibits fires outside of developed recreation sites and includes limits on smoking and shooting.

The Crooks Fire has grown to about 9,000 acres and is now 23% contained. Fire crews Wednesday battled strong winds and low humidity, which hampered firefighting efforts. Officials expect more gusty winds and dry conditions Thursday. Several communities remain in Go evacuation status and others are in Set status.

A community meeting will be held Thursday evening at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott at 6 p.m. and can also be streamed at the Prescott National Forest’s Facebook page.