Crooks Fire Burns Through Prescott National Forest in Arizona

More than 670 personnel were fighting a wildfire burning south of Prescott in central Arizona as of Monday, April 25, 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 25, the fire was estimated to be 3,914 acres in size and was 22 percent contained, according to fire officials. A total of 675 personnel were assigned to the scene.

Video shows a flyover taken on the afternoon of April 23 as crews worked to gain control over the fire. California Interagency Incident Management Team 4 Operation Section Chief Kyle Jacobson describes fire conditions along the retardant line as the aircraft flew over the fire’s most active area near Ash Creek, the Prescott National Forest said. Credit: Crooks Fire via Storyful

Video transcript

KYLE JACOBSON: All right. This is a flyover from Saturday afternoon looking down the retardant line starting in the Lookout Mountain area, flying south. You can see the fire east of the retardant line as we continue flying south. You see the large amount of smoke production. That is coming from the southwest corner of the fire. That is where we saw most of the fire progression occurring yesterday afternoon into last night under that north wind condition continuing to push that fire south.

You see the effectiveness of the retardant in furthering that progression to the west and keeping it along the ridge top as we continue to fly south. Coming up in this large smoke production, that was a large concentration of heavy deadened down fuels putting up that large amount of smoke. As we turn the corner in division alpha moving towards the east, you can see that the fire is spotting out in front of the main fire's edge.

Short distance spotting, usually 50 to 100 feet, but continuing that fire progression towards the south that continued throughout the night. As we turn the corner looking towards division tango, we'll be able to see a little bit of Senator Highway just coming around for visual reference as we start moving in that more northerly direction. And the large smoke production, that is still occurring there on the south end of the fire. And a little bit of isolated torching going on within the canopy and the movement through the shrubs. You can see the varied fuel types that are occurring.

We're taking a look here in the division November area. You can see on the landscape the varied severity of the burns. There are some areas where there was some high severity burn. But there are also green pockets of fuel. This is moving in towards the Lima area. You can see the amount of work that's been done on the north end of the fire, and that most of that smoke production and fire growth is on the south.

So we're coming around the corner into division Lima. This is where we do show fire's edge. And you can see the tremendous amount of work done by the troops on the ground, very few smokes showing on the eastern side of this fire as we're turning the corner north and seeing Mount Union. We did not have any infrastructure damage in the Mount Union area. And the resources have been doing a great job here on the north side.