Tag Archives: Gladiator Fire

Help Support the Town of Crown King Tomorrow!

Screen Shot 2013-05-10 at 10.35.32 AM

Save the date: Tomorrow, Saturday, May 11, the historic mining town of Crown King will host a festival to help raise money for road repairs. Last year, the Gladiator Fire burned more than 16,000 acres; then, complicating matters, monsoon storms caused mudslides and rockslides. Saturday’s event will feature live entertainment, food, a kids area and a beer garden.

Melinda Ripley, the president of the Crown King Chamber of Commerce, talked to Arizona Highways about tomorrow’s festival and why Crown King needs your help.

Tell me about this Saturday’s festival. What’s going on?
We will be raising funds during this event for several different organizations. Some of the funds will be given to the Crown King Chamber of Commerce for our Community Improvement Project. We are currently selling raffle tickets to give away a “gold nugget.” The funds from this will go to improve the downtown Crown King area. We are planning to purchase many loads of Agra-Soil to cover the main road in town. This will help take care of the boulders and such that are making our street rough. Crown King is an unincorporated town; therefore, we do not get county or state help to maintain the roads inside our community. Once we can obtain the needed amount to replace the soil, we are planning to place old-fashioned, wrought-iron, solar-powered lamp posts throughout the area as well. It will be a beautiful project when we can complete it.

We have also started a “Crown King Kids Corral.” This is an area that we are planning to have during our bigger events dedicated to the children. They can make crafts and play games that are related to the current event. For instance, this weekend, we will be making paper-plate tamborines, wind chimes (out of Dixie cups and straws and bells) and a coloring contest. (Per the request of our children, they “want to know who the winner is THAT day and want candy as a prize!”) We plan to carry this idea out throughout the year. Funds donated from this area will remain in a separate envelope to replenish our supplies used. We have had a tremendous outpouring from some community members that have donated yarn, buttons, gluesticks, etc. We are very excited to offer something for the children to do when they visit Crown King.

What will you do with the funds raised?
A portion of some food sales will go directly to the Chamber of Commerce for continued advertising and permit costs.

How has business been since last year’s fire, and how can people help?
Business has been extremely slow for the merchants following the fire and rain last year. It was a rough winter for them. However, we have tried to come together and plan numerous fun events for the remainder of this year and will continue on next year! We have really tried to pump our marketing and utilize Facebook, radio stations, news stations, publications and any other venue of advertising that we can reach. We have started Facebook pages for all our businesses; this has really helped, as Facebook seems to spread very quickly.

We are currently seeking volunteers to set a table up at the event with donation buckets that list all of our nonprofit organizations: the Crown King Fire Department, our churches, our American Legion, our Crown King Road Association, our Forest Service Department, and obviously our Historical Society. We also have a Crown King Community Association that tries to focus on individual needs for those who live in the community. We also have an Americorps group that works in Crown King during the busy wildfire months. We have one of the only remaining one-room schoolhouses. I think 11 remain in the U.S. We currently have three students.

So people know once and for all, is Crown King open for business?
Crown King is definitely open for business! We welcome all those to come see our very historical and beautiful little hideaway! It is one of the most untouched pieces of America’s history that we are so very hard trying to keep.


Leave a comment

Filed under Things to Do

Gladiator Fire Takes Toll On Local Businesses

Gladiator Fire as seen from the 89A

It’s been over a week since the Gladiator fire started, and things are still looking grim…

The fire has already consumed 15,000 acres of land near the Crown King area, with containment at 20 percent. Compounding matters, winds are expected to kick up again, temperatures are high and humidity is low… Translation: wind-blown embers could ignite a new fire. Still, firefighters are working furiously to get ahead of the fire.

While fires are to be expected, especially during the dry, summer months, their impact on both the environment and the people who live in the affected areas is long-lasting.

As Arizona Highways Editor Robert Stieve wrote in his May Editor’s Letter,”Fire is devastating.” And in areas like the White Mountains, it can “take hundreds of years for some places to recover… if they recover at all.”

Once the Gladiator fire is put out, the area surrounding Crown King will recover, but it’ll take time… In the short term, the people living and working there will need our help…

From yesterday’s KJZZ:

The most active wildfire burning in Arizona, the Gladiator Fire north of Crown King, has charred more than 13,000 acres since breaking out last Sunday.  More than 1,100 fire personnel are battling the fire, which is 15 percent contained.  And, even though the blaze has been mainly burning away from Crown King, bed and breakfast owner Taryn Denyce says a return to the evacuated town appears to be a way off because of the lack of electricity caused by burned power poles.

“There’s been at least 19 poles burned — APS poles — but they were finally given access to go in starting today, so it could be another seven days before we have power back up there. So we still don’t know when we can go home.”

And, Denyce says she just hopes people will still visit the town this summer.

“We’re taking a huge hit, a huge loss. This is normally our peak busy season. We’re usually full to capacity, and I’m not even getting phone calls for future reservations.”

For more information about the fire, visit www.inciweb.org or www.wildlandfire.az.gov.


Filed under Eco Issues, Mother Nature

Arizona Wildfires and How You Can Make a Difference

Smoke from the Wallow Fire 2011

With firefighters still battling blazes including, the Gladiator fire near Crown King and the Sunflower fire near Payson, we wanted to remind you to be smart when it comes to fire. Remember, it only takes one spark to start a wildfire, and several parts of Arizona are already at risk given the dry and windy conditions plaguing the state.

So what can you do?

Well, according to the Arizona Interagency Wildfire Prevention and Information Website, there are a few things you should be mindful of when it comes to fires:


Pausing or parking a car or truck in tall grass or over shrubs can start fires. This not only may damage your vehicle but may also start a quickly moving fire. Do not park where vegetation is touching the underside of your vehicle.  Also be sure that all vehicles and tires are in excellent working order; chains or other recreational trailer equipment must not drag or dangle from the truck; secure all recreational equipment when traveling, these can ge hot or create sparks causing not just one but multipe wildfires. Look behind you as your driving to make sure all is well.  It’s always a good idea to carry a fire extinguisher. Grass burns quickly and dry, windy conditions can turn into a wall of flames in minutes.


A burning cigarette is a small fire ready  to become a larger one.  Cigarettes are made to burn long and slowly and can start fires even hours after being dropped or thrown away.  Never walk off and leave a burning cigarette and be aware of all smoking restrictions when recreating on public lands.


Fireworks are not permitted on public lands throughout the entire state. Sparks from fireworks can cause wildfires in dry vegetation. Many cities and towns in Arizona have regulations that restrict the use of fireworks. Some towns and cities are including fireworks displays as part of their holiday celebrations. Please check your local newspaper for times and locations.


Sparks from chainsaws, welding torches, and other equipment can cause wildfires. Use spark arresters, refrain from welding and use of spark-creating machines when fire danger is high. Follow fire restrictions and closures–in some areas chainsaws are not allowed.


To a wildfire your house or cabin in the country, if built of flammable materials, is only fuel. Wildfires do not discriminate between trees and cabins–if it is flammable it will burn. You can take steps to protect your home from a wildfire’s flames by taking some simple steps to create “defensible space,” and area around your building that discourages fire from coming too near. Slope, vegetation types, planting design, location of outbuildings all affect a wildfire’s ability to reach your home. Defensible space can be created in many ways. For example you can:

  • plant fire resistant plants
  • space plants to slow the spread of fire from plant to plant
  • place woodpiles and wooden picnic tables well away from buildings
  • keep roofs free of needles and leaves
  • screen openings under decks and attic and foundation vents


  • by never playing with matches, lighters, flammable liquids, or any fire
  • by telling their friends about fire prevention and sharing their knowledge about what to do in a fire emergency
  • by staying calm during an emergency and listening to the instructions given to them by their parents
  • by remembering their assigned meeting place and by coming promptly upon hearing the signal
  • by keeping their toys, bikes and belongings out of the driveway so firefighters and their equipment can come through during a fire emergency




Filed under Eco Issues, Make a Difference

Wildfire Season Already Here?

Wallow Fire 2011

As of yesterday, there were five wildfires burning in Arizona, and already the combined fires have scorched more than 6,000 acres…. Unfortunately, this appears to be a sign of things to come. We’ve experienced very little moisture and temperatures are already heating up — fast. Making matters worse for firefighters battling the Gladiator fire near Crown King, winds are playing a factor, making it difficult to contain…. As of 9:22 am, the human-caused fire burned 3,000 acres.

Besides the Gladiator blaze, firefighters in the state are also working to suppress the Sunflower fire near Payson.

From azcentral.com:

The Sunflower Fire 21 miles south of Payson in the Tonto National Forest, which by Sunday evening had spread to about 3,100 acres despite a large air and ground offensive.

More than 280 firefighters battled the fire, west of Arizona 87. The fire’s growth was attributed to rugged terrain, dry fuels and drought conditions. The active blaze ran to the east-northeast as firefighters worked to anchor it to the south and conducted burnouts west of Forest Road 201. The fire ignited Saturday morning and while it threatens no structures, firefighters are concerned about a power line southeast of it. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

The other three fires include, the Elwood Fire on the San Carlos Indian Reservation; the Bull Flat Fire on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation; and the Slaughter House Fire near Kingman.



Filed under Eco Issues, Mother Nature