Crown King Residents Evacuate As Horse Fire Draws Closer

By Austin Fast
Published: Friday, October 16, 2020 - 5:25pm
Updated: Friday, October 16, 2020 - 5:26pm

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Horse Fire
Smoke from the Horse Fire can be seen from Prescott on Oct. 15, 2020.

About 100 residents of Crown King have left their homes since the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office ordered them to evacuate Friday. They’re fleeing the Horse Fire, which has burned more than five square miles of Prescott National Forest since sparking up on Thursday.

Sheriff's officials sent the evacuation order for residents of Crown King, Minnehaha and Horsethief Cabins around 8 a.m. Friday morning. The small, mountain communities are about 80 miles north of Phoenix.

Dwight D’Evelyn of the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said nobody had taken advantage of an evacuation shelter set up at Mayer High School in Spring Valley as of Friday afternoon. 

“A lot of folks have homes up there that are kind of second homes, so they may have a primary home they’re going to, and of course relatives and friends," D'Evelyn said.

D’Evelyn added the evacuation shelter can also accommodate livestock and has refreshments and health workers on hand to screen evacuees for COVID-19. 

Ground crews trying to corral the flames are being aided by three air tankers and four helicopters dropping fire retardant or water. Even though the fire had grown to over 100 acres by Friday morning, D'Evelyn said he doesn't expect additional evacuation orders.

“There doesn’t appear to be any concerns for these other (nearby) communities that are, frankly much more populated, and we would definitely give some extra notice to, but so far, that doesn’t appear to be the case," D'Evelyn said. "The concerning area is Crown King.”

All roads leading into Crown King have been closed — Goodwin, Senator Highway at Palace Station and County Road 59 from Cleator. The Forest Service said to expect additional trail and road closures around the fire area.

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office has issued a Code Red "Go" for the communities of Crown King, Minnehaha, Horsethief Cabins and any private inholdings in and around the fire area. For more information, visit the Sheriff’s Office Facebook page for updates or call 928-771-3321.

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