Crews Mop Up Crooks Fire in Central Arizona

More than 740 personnel were fighting a wildfire burning south of Prescott in central Arizona as of Tuesday, April 26, fire officials said.

The Crooks Fire, which officials said was “burning in continuous thick, dry, dead, and down fuels in very rugged terrain” of the Prescott National Forest, was exacerbated by “erratic” winds that made conditions dangerous for firefighters.

As of April 26, the fire was estimated to be 6,454 acres in size and was 16 percent contained, according to fire officials. A total of 746 personnel were assigned to the scene.

The fire had been 22 percent contained on Monday, but fell to 16 percent due to “increased fire growth and acreage,” officials said Tuesday morning.

Video shared by fire officials on April 25 shows crews at the fire’s edge performing mop-up efforts, which include digging up hot spots and extinguishing any leftover embers, Pacific Oasis Type 2 Initial Attack Crew Boss Donovan Culp said. Credit: Crooks Fire via Storyful

Video transcript

[CHAINSAW BUZZING]

- Today, we are on Division Helo. We are on a south-facing slope. Today, we are gritting as a 20-person hand crew. We're spaced out 10 feet apart. That makes us 200 feet. We'll be mopping up in the black, consisting of hot spots and holes. We dig them out with shovels, Pulaskis, or hose. We also have the help of engines with us.

We make sure that all of the heat is removed from the hot spot itself. And we will make sure that everything is cold around the area, any embers that we take out. And then we will continue to line back out and keep moving in the direction that we are told to go.

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