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County warns hikers to stay away from Tucson Mountain Park landslide

County warns hikers to stay away from Tucson Mountain Park landslide
Posted at 10:03 AM, Jul 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-30 01:17:01-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — Pima County is warning people to stay away from a landslide in Tucson Mountain Park.

The landslide, happened around noon Sunday on the southeast side of Golden Gate Mountain.

“It was very loud for some people and so very noticeable, and then we started getting call about it,” said Karen Simms.

Simms is the Division Manager with the Pima County Natural Resources Parks & Recreation. She says the ground is very unstable, and any movement could cause another landslide similar to this one.

“This event happened and basically all those tumbling rocks just chewed up all the vegetation...and if you look at some of the pictures of saguaro, they’re just chopped up into little pieces,” she added.

She says the rock slide wiped out anywhere from 60 to 100 saguaros, and damaged more than that.

“Some of these rocks were one to two meters big that came down. Which is why we had quite a lot of impact to the saguaros,” she told KGUN9.

David Wrench is a volunteer trail steward for Pima County in Tucson Mountain Park.

“You could see where the big rocks like that missed saguaros, missed saguaro trees, but when they hit, boy! It just took the saguaros out, broke them into pieces,” he added.

When Wrench went out to see the aftermath--he quickly realized why Pima county wants people to keep their distance.

“I heard what I thought was another rock falling and I thought, gee I don’t want to be here too much longer. It doesn’t seem like the safest place in the world,” said Wrench.

“We just really want to encourage people to stay away, be safe, and not climb up there to look at things. The ground is very unstable, and it’s going to take some time before it naturally heals,” Simms told KGUN9.

The area isn't close to any roads or trails. No one was injured in the landslide, and no structures were destroyed.