Gladiator fire adversely affecting Crown King business owners

May 21, 2012

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."
Forest Service spokeswoman Debbie Maneely says there will be another meeting tonight to update area residents on firefighter's progress in trying to contain the blaze.  She says the meetings can help residents be more aware of the circumstances around them.