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Tussock Fire prompts several evacuations near Crown King, AZ

Tussock Fire 5-9
Posted at 12:30 PM, May 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-05-18 12:08:44-04

CROWN KING, AZ — Officials said evacuation orders have been lifted for several towns due to the Tussock Fire Sunday.

In a tweet, the Arizona Bureau of Land Management said evacuation orders have been lifted for Minnehaha, Fort Misery, and Horsethief Basin.


On Monday, the American Red Cross announced the evacuation center at Mayer High School has been closed. Anyone who is displaced or needs assistance can call 1-800-842-7349.

Individuals needing immediate assistance are asked to call Yavapai County Sheriff's Office at (928) 771-3260 or 911.

Officials said area residents should sign up with the Yavapai County Emergency Notification System to receive any emergency alerts.

The Tussock Fire started Saturday and is burning approximately 20 miles northeast of Wickenburg and seven miles southwest of Crown King.

As of Tuesday, May 18, officials say the human-caused fire is about 5,546 acres and 94% percent contained. No structures are in danger of burning at this time.

Fire officials said as of Tuesday morning, Prescott National Forest lifted the Tussock Fire Public Safety Closure. Public lands within the Bureau of Land Management Hassayampa Field Office remain closed that include the following areas:

  • Castle Hot Springs Road at the Crown King Road (Trail)/Cow Creek Road Junction
  • Cow Creek Road, the entire length between Table Mesa Road and Crown King Road(Trail)
  • Buckhorn Road (from Constellation Road to Champie Road)
  • Wagoner Road at Hozoni Ranch Road
  • Lake Pleasant Airstrip area

Officials say Old Senator Highway is closed near Crown King which is now closed to non-residents.

"I'm thinking, ‘Whoa, that plane is too low. It’s going to crash.” But, it was a tanker to dump on the fire. I walked out and ‘Oh, there's a big plume of smoke,’” says Richard Lundeen, who was evacuated.

"As it got toward Crown King, it was worse. I was really worried,” says Lundeen.

"I already had evacuated and told all my neighbors that it's time to evacuate. We had all done it before anybody told us,” says Lundeen.

Lundeen stopped in Cleator before heading home to his wife in Peoria, trying to relax. "We need to make sure everybody gets out alive, that's all that really matters,” says Lundeen.

Some residents are getting help from neighbors and local businesses in Cleator. "We've been out here for a long time. I don’t want to see this place go up. It’s kind of a cool place to escape,” says Jennifer Drew with the Cleator General Store.

Drew put out a sign for evacuees and fire crews before closing up shop for the day. “We’re across the street so don’t hesitate to call,” says Drew.

Arizona firefighters have had a busy weekend working to contain another three wildfires burning in our state.

Take a look at the map below to see active wildfires burning across the state.