Bighorn Fire near Tucson consumes over 23,000 acres, 40% contained
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.
— NWS Tucson (@NWSTucson) June 17, 2020
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.