CROWN KING, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- The Horse Fire up north is finally more than 70 percent contained. That's one obstacle down for Crown King firefighters, who spent days keeping flames away from town. Now, the crews have a new battle they're facing.

"Twelve firefighters working ten to 15 hours a day for those seven days drained our budget," said Crown King Fire Chief Ian Dougherty.

The new concern is figuring out how the department will pay its crew.

"Very worried," said Dougherty. "These are our jobs. This is our town. It's a lot of stress."

Even before the Horse Fire, he says the department was out of money.

"We get money from taxes from the county," said Dougherty. "That money for us this year is about just under $100,000."

The Horse Fire cost The Crown King Fire Department 15 to 20 thousand dollars.

"Our hardcover cost is just about $25,000 a month or $300,000 a year, so a fire like this already taxed our budget even more," said Dougherty.

He says Yavapai County gave them a loan to make ends meet for now until more funds come through.

"We've always lived on the edge since I've worked for Crown King Fire Department," said Dougherty. "The thing that's really kept us afloat is personnel grants to keep full-time staff here, equipment grants, vehicle grants, so that's really kept us afloat."

He said anyone could send donations to The Crown King Fire Department.


Copyright 2020 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Recommended for you