Gladiator Fire

Zac Ziegler

When this summer’s monsoons hit, officials from the Prescott National Forest worried.

Zac Ziegler / KNAU

Scenes of wildfires are almost commonplace this time of year in the southwest

Photos of billowing smoke and threatening orange flames…

Firefighters weighted down with equipment…

Homeowners looking weary and frightened…

Behind the dramatic images though are sometimes hundreds of men and women putting in long hours in poor conditions, doing dangerous work.

Media reports about the Gladiator Fire, southeast of Prescott, routinely mentioned rough terrain slowing down fire fighters.

Here’s an idea of just how rough that terrain is.

The Gladiator Fire has topped 16,000 acres, but the blaze has slowed considerably this week.  

It grew by leaps and bounds in its early days. 

A major reason has been the Red Flag weather warnings that have plagued most of the 12 days the fire has been burning.

But proper planning and frequent reevaluation has helped keep the fire at bay.

Gerry Perry with the Gladiator Fire Incident Management Team said, "“Every day there’s a strategy that’s briefed, and the firefighters are deployed in accordance with that strategy.”

Kari Greer / US Forest Service

The Gladiator Fire grew only a small amount Wednesday despite weather conditions that had previously made the fire grow rapidly.  

The fire's damage now stands at 15,600 acres.  The fire made no significant gains on Wednesday. 

Containment levels have also stayed the same at 26%.

Large flames continue to burn on the interior of the fire, but fire lines and hot shot crews are containing the spread of the fire.

High winds and low humidity continue to keep a red flag warning in effect in the area.

Kari Greer / US Forest Service

The growth of the Gladiator Fire seems to have stalled despite high winds and dry conditions.  

The fire did not add any acreage overnight.  It stands at 15,600 acres.

The fire is 26% contained, and fire crews seem to have a good hold on the fire in crucial areas, such as the borders creeping towards Crown King and Towers Mountain.

Gerry Perry with the Gladiator Fire Incident Management Team describes how the line is holding near Tower Mountain.

Pages