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Summerhaven resident returns home weeks after evacuating because of Bighorn Fire

Posted at 4:58 PM, Jul 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-09 09:13:46-04

TUCSON, Ariz. - On June 16, Stacey Cochran and his family had to leave their home because of the Bighorn Fire, but this week, they finally got the chance to return.

“I had prepped our house for a solid week. Moving all furniture to the interior of the home, moving all draperies away from windows, working very hard outside to fire proof landscape outside as much as possible," said Cochran.

For more than three weeks, Cochran, his family, and dozens of others who call Summerhaven home watched, waited and hoped their homes would survive the fire.

“I recognize I can’t stop a wildfire, this is something that’s beyond my control and so I have to leave it to the experts, to the officials to do what they have to do," he said.

Cochran said his concern over the fire was so big he decided to get his family out of southern Arizona for a few days.

“I made the decision after about 4 or 5 days that I wanted to take them on a road trip and just take them out of southern Arizona," said Cochran.

Cochran and his family spent some time in Utah and Colorado, trying to get their mind off the fire as much as possible.

However, on Tuesday of this week, he got the news he'd been anxiously waiting for.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department told permanent residents and business owners they could return home.

“There’s a sense of togetherness, or community," said Cochran.

Now that the Cochran family is back home, their main concern is getting things back to normal.

“Putting the furniture back in place, putting draperies back up, furniture outside out on the porch, cleaning, quite frankly," he said.

Cochran added he's grateful to firefighters for everything they did.

“I’m going to be honest, I’m just going to enjoy it. I’m going to enjoy the fact my cabin, my home is still here," he said.