Conditions improve around Gladiator Fire, residents return home

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By Andrew Michalscheck By Andrew Michalscheck

CROWN KING, Ariz. -- Fire crews battling the Gladiator Fire have been receiving help from the weather over the past couple of days.

On Friday, a “mega moisture burst” moved into the area, bringing humidity levels up to 99 percent.

A cold front also hit the region on Saturday, as the temperature was 20 degrees below the average.

The current conditions in the area are a welcome sight to firefighters, as it has reduced the risk of new fires starting.

Firefighters spent Saturday patrolling and mopping up containment lines, as well as rehabilitating areas disturbed by suppression actions.

The Gladiator Fire is 40 percent contained. As fire activity continues to decrease the number of fire personnel tackling the blaze will also be reduced.

On Saturday, 400 firefighters and personnel were released.

Residents of Crown King and the Pine Flat and Turkey Creek areas have also benefited from the improved conditions, as they were allowed to start moving back into their homes over the weekend. Electricity was also restored to the area.

The area will reopen to the public on Monday once local residents have had a chance to settle in.

The Gladiator Fire has been burning since May 13. It began as a structure fire on private property, and now covers 16,240 acres.

For more information about the Gladiator Fire and restrictions in the area visit or