Fire crews make progress on Crooks Fire, some residents allowed to return home

Posted at 10:36 PM, Apr 25, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-26 01:36:17-04

PRESCOTT — The Crooks Fire, near Prescott, has charred more than 6,400 acres. Fire crews have contained 16% of the fire and have it under control enough to lift some evacuation orders.

The return, for the people evacuated from the Lynx Lake area, is welcomed news. Homeowners said being away from their home was frustrating and hectic. Officials say, even with homeowners being let back in their home, homeowners should stay alert.

The Cliff Castle Chopper above the Crooks Fire Monday, as it continues to spread, but crews feeling confident in their progress to allow some homeowners near Lynx Lake back into their homes. ABC15 was with dozens as they waited in line to get passed Yavapai County Sheriff's Deputies.

Verne Tocker left with his three dogs a week ago.

"I'd like to get back in, especially for them, so they can get back to their own element and we can get back to our normal life,” said Tocker.

Normalcy is also what Conrad Walton wants for him, his wife and dog.

"Just being away from home and the uncertainty just adds a level of stress. It's just difficult,” said Walton.

The Crooks fire was the first to cause an evacuation for Steve Fredericks.

But, he says, he felt better knowing his surveillance cameras were rolling and his neighbors were talking.

"It was quite a relief just to see the structure was still there. We have a good network of people talking to each other, so it was good,” said Fredericks.

"They're not out of the woods. They are still on, what we call, a set evacuation which means they can be re-evacuated at any time,” said Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office Spokeswoman Kristin Greene.

Fire is still a concern in other areas south of Prescott. One spot, under close watch, is near Palace Station. Fire crews are getting creative by protecting the historic 'Stagecoach Stop' Cabin with a foil-like protective wrap to reflect heat away from it. The cabin was built in the 1870s.

"Without our local firefighters, I would be freaked out and talking to an insurance company right now instead of talking to you,” added Walton.