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Wildfire update, Tuesday, May 3, 2022: most Crooks Fire evacuations lifted, team assesses Tunnel Fire burn severity, fire near Sunset Crater contained

MOST CROOKS FIRE EVACUATIONS LIFTED

Nearly all evacuation orders have been lifted for the Crooks Fire burning in the Bradshaw Mountains south of Prescott.

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday morning announced most evacuations have been lifted and residents are allowed to return to their homes. This includes the communities of Mount Tridal, Potato Patch, Breezy Pines Walker South and Mountian Pine.

Those returning will need to show proof of residency as there are still roadblocks in the area, as well as firefighting equipment and personnel.

The communities of Ponderosa Pines, Lower Wolf Creek and Lookout Mountain remain in evacuation or “GO” status. Walker Road South has moved to “SET” status. A Forest Closure Order remains in effect.

Fire crews continue to focus on structure protection and fuels reduction in the rugged terrain where the Crooks Fire has been burning since April 18.

TEAM ASSESS BURN SEVERITY FOR TUNNEL FIRE

An Emergency Response Team has completed a Soil Burn Severity Map for the Tunnel Fire. The team determined unburned, low, moderate and high burn areas.

Of more than 4,700 acres assessed, 24% was unburned by the Tunnel Fire, 67% had low burn severity, 8% had moderate severity and only 11 acres, or 1% was identified as having a high soil burn severity.

The BAER Team assesses fire effects on the soil surface and below ground. Forest managers say moderate to high burn severity can alter or damage physical, chemical and biological soil properties that could increase potential for runoff, erosion and negative effects to soil productivity.

ANTELOPE FIRE MOP UP NEAR SUNSET CRATER

Crews are conducting mop up operations on the Antelope Fire north of Sunset Crater near Flagstaff.

Officials with the Coconino National Forest say the wind-driven blaze grew to over 370 acres on the east side of U.S. Highway 89, near the Tunnel Fire where firefighting crews are still working.

The Antelope Fire did not threaten any structures at any time, according to the Forest Service. Crews have contained it and are patrolling the line for hotspots.

Some smoke may be visible to motorists passing through the area.