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Mt. Lemmon residents speak out after Busch Fire burns near Summerhaven

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TUCSON - With the beautiful weather and Tucsonans getting out and about, Mount Lemmon is a perfect spot to be.

Fire restrictions were put into place early this year and for good reason.

Tucson had a wet winter so there is a lot of vegetation and this year, the climate has been dry.

It's the best combination for wildfires.

The Busch Fire that burned on Mount Lemmon on Thursday is a perfect example of why the fire restrictions are in place.

All it takes is one spark.

It sounds like common sense, however, Mount Lemmon residents said this campfire was anything but that.

"I just wish people would understand how irresponsible it is to have fires up here when you are not supposed to," said Doug Mance, a Mount Lemmon resident.

The Busch Fire broke out Thursday afternoon.

Fire crews battled the wildfire overnight into Friday.

The fire, which took place a half mile south of the Village of Summerhaven on Mount Lemmon, destroyed 3.7 acres of land.

"Last night, it looked really horrendous. Even when you see it from Tucson, sometimes it looks way worse than it is," said Michael Stanley, Mt. Lemmon Water District Manager.

"The Hot Shot crews were on-site immediately and they were able to take the fire down, get a fire line around it," Stanley said. "This morning, it was just putting out the hotspots."

The Forest Service said this was all because someone did not put out their campfire, which has residents upset.

One of those residents is Grey Carpenter, owner of Mount Lemmon's General Store.

However, Carpenter said he is just thankful there was no wind.

"Just a couple days ago, we had 30, 40 mile an hour gusts out of that same direction," Carpenter said. "That could've had devastating consequences."

The fire restrictions are usually in place until monsoon season.

So the next time you come up to Mount Lemmon, remember: No campfires.

The Busch Fire was ignited in the late afternoon on May 21, 2020, approximately ½ mile south of the village of...

Posted by The Forest Service - Coronado National Forest on Friday, May 22, 2020

Allie Potter

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