Gladiator Fire team: We're going to have another good day

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By Mike Gertzman By Mike Gertzman

CROWN KING, Ariz. -- The Gladiator Fire is still threatening Crown King homes, but fire managers say they expect to make progress in their battle with the week-old wildfire.

"We're going to have another good day today," public information office Art Morrison said Monday morning.

The winds that were fanning the flames last week died down somewhat over the weekend. Morrison said those winds should shift to come out of the southwest later today.

"That makes it very favorable for securing, better securing, the west part of the fire," he explained. "It's looking real good for today. The night shift got a lot of good work done last night."

At this point, the Gladiator Fire has consumer slightly less than 14,000 acres of the Prescott National Forest. Containment is holding at 15 percent. Four structures have been lost.

The fire continues to threaten 10 homes near the communications towers.

The biggest problem facing crews on the fire lines Monday is the extremely low humidity. It's forecast to be in the single digits for several hours.

"That can always cause a problem, when it gets that dry," Morrison said.

"High temperatures, low humidity, and stronger wind will continue to challenge firefighters," fire managers said.

The Haines Index, which was developed in the late '80s to measure the potential for rapid fire growth, is six. That's the highest measurement on the index, which means there is a high potential for large fire growth.

Crown King remains under an evacuation order issued by the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office. Despite that order, some people have decided to remain in their homes.

On Friday, those living in Pine Flats were ordered to evacuate the town as the blaze moved closer.  The Turkey Creek area is also under evacuation orders.

The Gladiator Fire started last Sunday morning as a house fire. Two of the four structures burned were involved in that initial fire.

More than 1,100 personnel have been assigned to the Gladiator Fire.

There will be another community information session Monday at 9 p.m. at Mayer High School, which is serving as the command center for fire managers.

For more information about roadblocks and evacuations call the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office at 928-713-2709.

For more information on the Gladiator Fire visit www.inciweb.org or www.wildlandfire.az.gov.