Gladiator Fire closes in on towers - CBS 5 - KPHO

Gladiator Fire closes in on towers

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Communication towers in peril Communication towers in peril
CROWN KING, AZ (CBS5) -

Fire officials considered Monday a good day after making progress fighting the Gladiator Fire.

The winds were calmer and fire personnel were able to use a lot of air power to drop slurry and water on the flames. 

Crews on the ground continue to build containment lines, start back burns and clear brush to try to keep this fire from spreading.

Officials also said the fire was about 100 yards away from crucial communications towers on the southwest edge of the fire.

"Those towers are critical infrastructure to the radio communications throughout the state - radios, televisions, interoperability programs within public safety. So they're a very valuable resource. The firefighters who have been out there for the last four days or five days protecting those towers are doing a great job," said Brad Pitassi, a spokesman for the Incident Command Team.

Monday morning's estimate was that 14,184 acres had been scorched by flames started by a structure fire on private property May 13.

The fire has forced the evacuation of several communities, according to Prescott National Forest officials who said the fire was only 15 percent contained Monday.

The Red Cross said it continues to stand by to assist those affected by the fire. People needing assistance can contact Red Cross officials at 1-800-842-7349. The Reception and Care Center at Mayer Elementary School has not been utilized by evacuees, so it is no longer staffed. However, it can reopen if there is a need, the Red Cross said. 

Officials expect high winds, high temperatures and low humidity for their firefight on Tuesday.

Copyright 2012 KPHO. Meredith Corporation. All rights reserved.

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