14 aircraft and 367 firefighters are battling the Cellar Fire 14 miles east of Yarnell, Arizona

Map of the Cellar Fire
Map of the Cellar Fire, at 7:50 p.m. July 18, 2019 by the Incident Management Team.

The 7,000-acre Cellar Fire 15 miles south of Prescott, Arizona was active Thursday afternoon primarily on the northeast side as 7 air tankers, 7 helicopters, and 13 hand crews worked to limit the spread (see the map above). A total of 367 personnel are assigned to the fire.

The overall strategy of the Type 1 Incident Management Team led by Alan Sinclair is full 100 percent suppression. Structure protection is in place on the 52 Road (the Senator Highway). The highway may be used as a holding feature if the fire continues to move east.

The Incident Management Team reported that a DC-10 Very Large Air Tanker was effective in slowing the fire’s spread on the east side. Additional air tankers continued to support hotshot crews working on the northwest flank of the fire.

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office issued a Code Red ‘GO’ mandatory evacuation for the residents in Pine Flat affecting 41 residences and 21 outbuildings. A total of 690 structures are threatened. A shelter has been established at the Prescott High School.

The weather at Crown King, 6 miles southeast of the fire, is predicted to be about the same Friday and Saturday as it was on Thursday — temperature in the high 80s and relative humidity in the teens. The wind will be a little stronger, generally out of the west or southwest at 10 to 15 mph with gusts to 20. This translates to no relief for the firefighters, however there are some fire scars out ahead of the Cellar Fire that could decrease the intensity and resistance to control.

Map of the Cellar Fire
Map of the Cellar Fire — from a mapping flight at 10 p.m. MDT July 18, 2019.


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Author: Bill Gabbert

After working full time in wildland fire for 33 years, he continues to learn, and strives to be a Student of Fire.

3 thoughts on “14 aircraft and 367 firefighters are battling the Cellar Fire 14 miles east of Yarnell, Arizona”

  1. Too bad they didn’t put it out when they could. They “managed” it to the point of evacuations, closures,and greatly increased risk/hazard exposure to the firefighters and pilots–not to mention costing the taxpayers millions of dollars. I guess it is a great option for the Forest to be able to do a Prescribed fire without having to pay for it out of your budget, worry about EPA regs, or care about smoke impacts…. Look at what a typical RX fire costs per acre vs a “managed” one. Some day the public is going to wise up and figure out what is occurring on these “managed” fires, and the benefit current land managers have will disappear if they keep abusing it….. I hear their are already lawsuits in the works over the Woodbury fire…. Plus, look at how many resources are now tied up on this incident that won’t be available for a new start that might be in a critical area…


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