View Full Version : Historic building at the Golden Turkey Mine (AZ) - Gone!

04-19-2006, 10:56 AM
Article Here: http://tinyurl.com/rddmn

Authorities investigate mine fire

The Daily Courier

Residents of an isolated area of the Bradshaw Mountain foothills helped stamp out a wildfire Sunday that spread from a large abandoned mine building on the Prescott National Forest.

The U.S. Forest Service is investigating the fire as possible arson. Nearby residents reported seeing people riding ATVs in the area before they saw the fire. No lightning occurred in the region.

The Forest Service had determined that the structure, part of the Golden Turkey mine, was potentially eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.

It was a two-story frame structure with the first story dating to the 1930s and the second story from the 1940s. The mine closed in 1980.

The blaze destroyed the abandoned historic structure.

The mine building sat in the desert near County Road 59 about three miles east of Cleator, near the outskirts of the Prescott National Forest. That dirt road is the main road from Interstate 17 to Crown King. About 20 homes in and near the Bradshaw Mountain Ranches subdivision sit a quarter-mile to a half-mile away from the mine.

About six nearby residents went after spot fires with fire extinguishers and shovels before firefighters arrived, said Dave Gesser, a Prescott National Forest assistant fire management officer stationed in Crown King.

"They had done a tremendous job stopping it from spreading anywhere," Gesser said of the neighbors.

The closest Forest Service fire engine is in Crown King, about 15 miles up a steep, winding dirt road.

And it's not staffed 24 hours a day. So although residents called for help about 6:45 p.m., the engine didn't arrive until about 8 p.m.

Residents and firefighters held the blaze to about a half-acre, Prescott Forest information officer Debbie Maneely said.

"If the wind would have been there, it would have had potential," Gesser said.

Nearby residents said high winds died down just about a half-hour before the fire became visible.

"We were very, very fortunate that the wind had died down because otherwise it could have turned into something nasty," resident Loretta Alden said.

"If the wind would have been as strong as it was at 6 o'clock, it would have been a major wildfire," Pam Hanover agreed.

Alden, who has lived in the remote area for 19 years, said problems with forest users are common.

"They like to come out here and get drunk and shoot things up," said Alden, who has plenty of holes in her mailbox to back up her comments.