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Mount Lemmon highway reopened; fire is 95 percent contained

Drivers make their way down on Mount Lemmon Highway on Monday, July 3, 2017 after evacuations were ordered on Sunday night from the base of Mount Lemmon Highway to the Palisades Visitor Center at milepost 20. (Mamta Popat/Arizona Daily Star via AP)

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — The highway up Mount Lemmon in the Santa Catalina Mountains overlooking Tucson has reopened to the public now that the Burro Fire is nearly fully contained.

The highway’s full reopening Friday follows a limited reopening for residents and employees earlier this week.

The fire on the Catalinas’ eastern flank is at 95 percent of containment after burning 42.5 square miles (110.1 sq. kilometers) of grass, brush and timber since being reported two weeks ago.

Recent monsoon rains helped firefighters, and management of the fire has been handed off to a lower-level team. Only about 20 personnel remain assigned to the fire.

Coronado National Forest spokeswoman Heidi Schewel says fire danger remains high in parts of southern Arizona which haven’t received rain and that campfire restrictions remain in effect.

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