Winds challenge crews fighting Gladiator Fire - CBS 5 - KPHO

Winds challenge crews fighting Gladiator Fire

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SPRING VALLEY, AZ (CBS5) -

At the base camp for fire crews the whipping winds are a challenge as tarps and tents fight to stay in place. But up on the Bradshaw Mountains the winds are also creating havoc as they carry the Gladiator Fire across acres, helping it grow even faster.

"The earlier winds that we had the embers were going a half mile out in front, and those winds were less than what is forecasted now," said Jerome Macdonald, the Deputy Incident Commander.

With the Gladiator Fire able to jump so quickly, crews are forced to stay behind the winds so they do not get boxed in by the flames.

"Based on the forecast of these higher winds, we are going to position people in safe locations so we cannot put them in front of it," Macdonald said.

For now crews are focusing on the South end of the fire where it is safe to work. They are trying to capture the sides of the blaze to keep it from growing that way.

Macdonald told CBS 5 News that Crown King is the South piece of the fire and that is their anchor. On the West side they are working up on the mountain and on the East side they are working off of the 59 Road to flank the flames.

Luckily, the flames are pushing the fire away from Crown King giving residents hope that no more homes will be lost.

Copyright 2012 CBS 5 (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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