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Bighorn Fire burns more than 107,000 acres, 45 percent contained

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TUCSON (KVOA) - Crews continue to battle the Bighorn Fire burning in the Santa Catalina Mountains.

The fire has burned more than 107,099 acres and is still 45 percent contained.

The cost of the blaze hit $35.2 million on Monday as it burned for a 25th consecutive day.

The fire was very active driven to the north and east by strong and gusty southwest winds. 

Maximum wind speeds of 54 mph were observed on Mt. Lemmon at Radio Ridge.  

Along the fire’s eastern edge, the winds forced helicopters to be grounded at mid-afternoon.  

With no aerial support the fire spotted out of Beuhman Canyon across Piety Hill Road (Road #649), burning north and east eventually crossing Redington Road just north of the Red Tank reservoir.

Engine crews engaged the blaze on the ground and continued to do so overnight into Tuesday in hopes of keeping it west of the Redington Road. 

Due to the Bighorn Fire approaching Cochise County from eastern Pima County in the Cascabel area, Cascabel Road has been closed at the county line.

Three areas in Cochise County has been issued fire designated zones and are in the "READY" status:

The town of Benson is not in a designated zone at this time.

No structures have been damaged in the Bighorn Fire. 

The Northern Rockies Incident Management Team is beginning to look very closely at how the approaching rainy season in Southern Arizona could effect homes on the Santa Catalina Mountains and surrounding foothills.'

The team is beginning to identify and contact owners of homes that could be susceptible to flash floods.

EVACUATION NOTICES:

GO - Evacuate:

  • Southern Catalina Foothills, Catalina Highway on the western boarder and Redington Road on the east
  • Redington community bordered by county lines on north and east
  • East slope of the Catalina Mountains south of the Pima County line and west of the community of Redington
  • Mt. Lemmon
  • Summerhaven
  • Mt. Bigelow
  • Lower Catalina Highway/Lower Mt. Lemmon Communities from Organization Ridge Road to South Willow Canyon

SET - Be Alert:

  • Southern Catalina Foothills, bounded by Forest Service boundary on the west and County line on the east 

READY - Prepare Now

  • Community of Oracle
  • Portions of east Golder Ranch area
  • Catalina foothills areas east of Kolb Road within northern areas of Ventana Canyon neighborhoods
  • Peppersauce Canyon to Highjinks Road and Campo Benito
  • Oro Valley areas from Catalina State Park south to Magee Road
  • Catalina foothills areas from First Avenue to Alvernon Way 
  • Catalina Foothills between Alvernon Way and Kolb Road, north of Skyline Drive
  • C1 (Cochise County) Cascabel to Hookers Hot Springs 
  • C2 (Cochise County) Cascabel south and north of Pomerene
  • C3 (Cochise County) Includes Mescal to Pomerene

The Coronado National Forest closures include: Sabino and Bear canyons and Catalina State Park.

RESOURCES:

2020 Bighorn Fire Story Map - How far is the fire from you?

Fire Information Phone Line: (520) 276-8981 and (520) 329-7439, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Sign up to receive emergency alerts at myalerts.pima.gov.

View the closure order and map at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/6741/.

If you're located in Pinal County, visit pinalcountyaz.gov/emergencymanagement

Copyright 2020 News 4 Tucson. All rights reserved.

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News 4 Tucson

David Kelly

David Kelly is the weekend sports anchor at KVOA in Tucson. He is a 28-year veteran of the sports broadcast business.

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