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Officials lift Bighorn Fire evacuation orders for Summerhaven, other areas

In a photo posted July 3, 2020, the Bighorn Fire smolders below Lizard Rock in the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson. (InciWeb Photo)

PHOENIX – Authorities are letting people return to Summerhaven on Tuesday, three weeks after the southern Arizona mountain community was evacuated because of the Bighorn Fire.

The Pima County Sheriff’s Office announced Monday night it would start escorting business owners, employees and full-time residents back to Summerhaven, which was evacuated June 16.

Evacuation orders also ended for the Mount Lemmon, Mount Bigelow and Willow Canyon areas, meaning all Bighorn-related evacuations have been lifted.

The areas were moved from “GO” to “SET” status in the “Ready, Set, Go” alert system.

The Bighorn Fire was sparked by lightning in the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson on June 5.

It had consumed 119,020 acres as of Tuesday morning, making it the eighth-largest wildfire in Arizona history, and was 75% contained.

Helicopters cooled off hot spots Monday morning, but no other fire activity was observed, officials said.

The Catalina Highway is closed to the public at milepost zero, and areas of the Coronado National Forest impacted by the fire remain off-limits.

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