Some rural Arizona residents warned to be ready to evacuate

July 8, 2021 GMT

PRESCOTT, Ariz. (AP) — Yavapai County authorities on Thursday raised the pre-evacuation status of the small rural community of Crown King due to an active wildfire that has forced closure of several roads in and into mountains in an area west of Interstate 17.

The Sheriff’s Office raised Crown King’s status to “set” — a condition meaning that residents should be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice.

The office also said only Crown King residents and fire personnel would be allowed to use a road into the unincorporated community 54 miles (88 kilometers) north of Phoenix.

“With the community of Crown King in a “Set” status, the town is now closed to the public. Residents only will be allowed in and out,” the incident management team assigned to the fire said in a statement.

The fire started by lighting on June 30 has burned 20.5 square miles (53 square kilometers) and was contained around 29% of its perimeter as of Thursday.