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Residents are reminded to be aware of firefighters as Bighorn Fire grows to 14,686 acres

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TUCSON - As of Monday night, the Bighorn Fire burning 14,686 acres of the Catalina Mountains has improved its containment to 30 percent, up from 22 percent reported Monday morning.

Now, 729 people are working around the clock to put this fire out.

Dozens of emergency vehicles have been coming in and out of Catalina State Park. Some of those vehicles are equipped with large machinery for digging that may be used for trenching along roads and other areas.

With high temperatures and wind reported at the scene, firefighters said these conditions are making it more difficult to fight the flames. In addition, the crews are experiencing difficulties with people stopping to watch the fire.

"If you are seeing firefighters in the community, make sure you're not stopping along the road and looking at the fire, or trying to drive up to the burned area to see what's going on," said Molly Hunter, spokesperson for the Bighorn Fire. "Stay out of the area because that's going to make it safer for our firefighters."

Currently, areas in the Catalina Foothills, Golder Ranch and Oro Valley are still in the "Set" phase of the "Ready-Set-Go" evacuation plan. Officials said people in those areas need to remain vigilant.

With temperatures over 100 degrees during the day, firefighters are having daily briefings on safety protocols.

"Every morning, all of the crews are given a safety briefing for things to think about," Hunter said. "Some of the things they're thinking about are, of course, hydrating because this is a very difficult place to fight fire."

Officials want to remind people that these fires are in a no-fly zone. This is specific to people who are flying drones.

Anytime a drone is in the air, crews have to ground all their aircrafts.

If you're looking to help, firefighters can not accept any food or water right because of COVID-19.

However, you can help out by donating to the Red Cross.

The shelter set up at Canyon Del Oro high school is currently closed, but remains on standby if conditions worsen.

To donate, visit redcross.org.

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Mark Mingura

Mark Mingura joined KVOA as a Multi Media Journalist in October 2019. Originally from the valley and with ties to Tucson, Mark is excited to get back to his home state and tell the stories of the Old Pueblo.

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