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Forest Service: Abandoned campfire cause of Mount Lemmon fire

mount lemmon fire
Coronado National Forest

TUCSON - The blaze that burned about 4 acres of Mount Lemmon Thursday evening was reportedly caused by an abandoned campfire, Coronado National Forest released Friday.

Late Thursday afternoon, fire crews were dispatched to an area about a half-mile south of the village of Summerhaven in reference to a fire. According to officials, firefighters halted the growth of the fire overnight.

The crews continued their work through Friday, requiring support from the Flagstaff Interagency Hotshot Crew, overhead, law enforcement officers, and engines with helicopters and air tanker retardant drops.

The firefighters mopped up flames early that morning. The blaze burned about 3.7 acres of land.

After further investigation, forest service officials reported that the campfire was left smoldering without a fire ring to retain it.

"The campfire was still hot when the Fire Investigator arrived on scene, indicating the camp’s occupant did not attempt to extinguish it," Coronado National Forest said in a press release. "The fire, potential harm to first responders and aircraft personnel, and potential damage to natural resources, recreation sites and the village, were entirely unnecessary."

Authorities said the forest was under Stage II Fire Restrictions when the blaze was lit.

For more information, fs.usda.gov.

Anthony Victor Reyes

Anthony Victor Reyes is the lead digital content producer at News 4 Tucson. The award-winning journalist previously worked as a community reporter in Jasper County, Iowa.

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