ARIZONA NEWS

Bighorn Fire near Tucson consumes over 23,000 acres, 40% contained

Jun 17, 2020, 9:30 PM | Updated: 9:47 pm

PHOENIX – The Bighorn Fire in southern Arizona’s Catalina Mountains near Tucson has burned 23,892 acres and remained 40% contained Wednesday night.

Wednesday morning, the blaze had consumed about 17,492 acres.

The lightning-caused fire forced residents near Mount Lemmon, Mount Bigelow, Lower Soldier HOA and the community of Summerhaven to evacuate Tuesday.

People living near Lower Catalina Highway and Lower Mount Lemmon from Organization Ridge Road to South Willow Canyon could potentially be evacuated as well.

Catalina Foothills, Golder Ranch and Oro Valley are also on notice for potential evacuations.

The Bighorn Fire had consumed 15,805 acres and was 40% contained as of Tuesday night, according to authorities.

There are 700 personnel battling the blaze.

According to officials, crew continue to reinforce the fire line around surrounding communities and create defensible space near homes and businesses.

A red flag warning will be in place Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., which could limit air resources in the afternoon.

High temperatures and gusty winds have created challenging conditions for firefighters, who also are dealing with steep, rocky terrain.

Catalina State Park is closed because of the fire, and portions of the Coronado National Forest Santa Catalina Ranger District are restricted. Catalina Highway is also closed at milepost zero except for residents and business owners.

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(InciWeb Photo) (InciWeb Photo) (InciWeb Photo) Vehicle lights leave streaks a the Bighorn Fire moves along the western side of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Sunday, June 14, 2020, in Oro Valley, Ariz. Hundreds of homes on the outskirts of Tucson remain under an evacuation notice as firefighters work to keep the wildfire from moving downhill from canyons and ridges in the Coronado National Forest. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) The Bighorn Fire moves along the western side of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Sunday, June 14, 2020, in Oro Valley, Ariz. Hundreds of homes on the outskirts of Tucson remain under an evacuation notice as firefighters work to keep the wildfire from moving downhill from canyons and ridges in the Coronado National Forest. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) Fires crews move to another location as they battle the Bighorn Fire along the western side of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Sunday, June 14, 2020, in Oro Valley, Ariz. Hundreds of homes on the outskirts of Tucson remain under an evacuation notice as firefighters work to keep the wildfire from moving downhill from canyons and ridges in the Coronado National Forest. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) A stiff wind out of the southwest pushes the Bighorn Fire into the central Santa Catalina Mountains as seen from Oro Valley, Ariz., Saturday, June 13, 2020. The fire has grown and is now threatening Mt. Lemmon and the town of Summerhaven, Ariz. (Kelly Presnell/Arizona Daily Star via AP) 
              A Pima County Sheriff officer checks residents' identification in a closed off neighborhood affected by the Bighorn Fire along the western side of the Santa Catalina Mountains, Friday, June 12, 2020, in Tucson, Arizona. Hundreds of homes on the outskirts of Tucson remain under an evacuation notice as firefighters work to keep the wildfire from moving downhill from canyons and ridges in the Coronado National Forest. (AP Photo/Matt York)
            (InciWeb Photo) A hot shot fire crew fighting the Bighorn Fire hikes on ridge in the foothills as smoke from wildfires rise in the Santa Catalina Mountains north of Tucson, Ariz., Thursday, June 11, 2020.  (Rebecca Sasnett/Arizona Daily Star via AP) Residents in the Catalina Foothills neighborhood north of Tucson, Ariz., watch an air tanker drop fire retardant on the Bighorn Fire wildfire in the Santa Catalina Mountains, Thursday, June 11, 2020.  (Rebecca Sasnett/Arizona Daily Star via AP) (Twitter Photo/Coronado National Forest) (InciWeb Photo) A heavy lift helicopter passes through the Bighorn Fire burning along Pusch Ridge Saturday, June 6, 2020 in Coronado National Forest north of Tucson. Arizona's wildfire season is already in high gear, thanks in large part to human carelessness but also weather conditions last winter that produced an abundance of vegetation now serving as fuel for fires. (Rick WileyArizona Daily Star via AP) A DC-10 air tanker drops thousands of gallons of retardant at the base of the Bighorn Fire burning above La Reseve along Pusch Ridge on Saturday, June 6, 2020 in Coronado National Forest north of Tucson, Ariz. Arizona's wildfire season is already in high gear, thanks in large part to human carelessness but also weather conditions last winter that produced an abundance of vegetation now serving as fuel for fires.  (Rick WileyArizona Daily Star via AP) Flames fanned by canyon winds emerge from the smoke on Saturday, June 6, 2020 during the Bighorn Fire burning along Pusch Ridge in Coronado National Forest north of Tucson, Ariz. Arizona's wildfire season is already in high gear, thanks in large part to human carelessness but also weather conditions last winter that produced an abundance of vegetation now serving as fuel for fires.  (Rick WileyArizona Daily Star via AP) In this Saturday, June 6, 2020 photo, a heavy-lift helicopter drops water on the line of the Bighorn Fire burning along Pusch Ridge in Coronado National Forest north of Tucson, Ariz. (Rick Wiley/Arizona Daily Star via AP) A Chinook helicopter flies along the past granite formations in a wildfire called the Bighorn Fire burning along Pusch Ridge of the Santa Catalina Mountains in Coronado National Forest, north of Tucson, Ariz., Sunday, June 7, 2020. The fire is at 1,000 acres and 0% contained, according to fire officials. (Rick Wiley/Arizona Daily Star via AP) A lead plane, lower left, guides a heavy air tanker during a retardant drop at a wildfire called the Bighorn Fire burning along Pusch Ridge of the Santa Catalina Mountains in Coronado National Forest north of Tucson, Ariz., Sunday, June 7, 2020. The fire is at 1,000 acres and 0% contained, according to fire officials. (Rick Wiley/Arizona Daily Star via AP)

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Bighorn Fire near Tucson consumes over 23,000 acres, 40% contained