Burro Fire near Tucson grows past 26,000 acres, is 51 percent contained

Jul 8, 2017, 10:18 PM | Updated: 10:19 pm

PHOENIX — Fire management officials said the Burro Fire burning near Tucson had grown to 26,000-plus acres one week after it ignited.

Officials estimated the fire would be fully contained by July 15. Tucson News Now reported that two firefighters had been injured.

The blaze, which began June 30, was at 19 percent contained by Friday morning. Earlier in the week, airtankers and helicopters had helped delay its spread, the Arizona Emergency Information Network posted online.

Almost 700 personnel were battling the 26,731-acre fire.

Officials closed the Mount Lemmon Highway eight miles northeast of Tucson and evacuated Summerhaven residents in the Santa Catalina Mountains, along with campers and hikers.

At a meeting Monday night, officials told residents said there was no timetable for when they could return. Summerhaven is a popular summertime retreat for Tucson residents. About 50 people live there year-round.

The Arizona Daily Star reported the fire had reached 8,000 acres on Sunday.

Officials worried Monday afternoon about thunderstorm activity that could bring lightning to the area and little rain. Strong, erratic wings have caused the fire to grow.

Evacuations had been implemented from mile marker 0 to Mount Lemmon along the Catalina Highway, according to fire officials. Redington Road was also closed between mile posts 2 through 14.

Smoke from the Burro Fire was seen in Tucson and the glow of the fire was visible Saturday night.

The fire was being fueled by burning grass and brush, and the cause of it was unknown.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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Burro Fire near Tucson grows past 26,000 acres, is 51 percent contained