TUCSON, Ariz. — BREAKING UPDATE: Part of Catalina Foothills on alert for fire evacuations
The Bighorn Fire is still burning in steep terrain in the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson.
According to the latest information from the U.S. Forest Service Wednesday night, the Bighorn Fire is about 3,277 acres in the Catalina Mountains and is 10 percent contained. Nearly 400 wildfire personnel are working on containing the blaze.
Crews were expected to conduct burnouts along the south end of the fire Thursday, from Pima Canyon to Finger Rock and Pontatoc.
Fire crews are hoping that the blaze will run out of fuel and slow down or stop in order to allow crews to construct a fire line.
#GRFDAZ is sending 2 trucks, a type 3 and type 6, and 8 Wildland Firefighters to the Bighorn Fire this morning. Wishing them a safe and successful assignment! #CommunityFirst #FireFamily #WildlandFirefighter pic.twitter.com/EtTtLsILmm— Golder Ranch Fire (@GRFDAZ) June 11, 2020
The Forest Service says the steep and rugged terrain has made it difficult for firefighters to battle the blaze, relying heavily on air tankers using fire retardant and helicopters with water buckets.
If you have questions about the Bighorn Fire please call the Fire Information Line at 520-329-7439. This number is managed by the Forest Service and they will have staff available to answer your questions from 8 AM to 8 PM.— Golder Ranch Fire (@GRFDAZ) June 11, 2020
Residents in the Catalina Foothills can expect to see crews working, assessing potential threats to homes and developing contingency plans, should fire spread into the area.
The Pima County Sheriff's Department will assess the need for potential evacuations. PCSD is encouraging residents near the fire to sign up for Emergency County Alerts online, should evacuations be necessary.
In a briefing on the fire posted to Facebook Wednesday, fire officials say the blaze is expected to continue to spread in Pima Canyon as fire conditions remain difficult throughout the day. They're also setting up proactive firelines around Pusch Peak and surveying potential risks in the western area of the Catalina Foothills.
The portion that is contained is on the southwestern edge of the fire, where it was closest to homes off Oracle Road in Oro Valley.
On June 8, Crews fighting the Bighorn Fire were forced to shut down air operations due to a drone flying in the area.
Catalina State Park remains closed to the public while fire crews battle the Bighorn Fire.
According to latest information from the Town of Oro Valley and the Oro Valley Police Department, authorities are monitoring the Fire in the Catalinas. OVPD is working with Golder Ranch Fire District personnel to monitor the fire.
“Right now, we are encouraging residents to stay informed and to sign up for the Town’s Code RED notification system, so that we can reach as many of our residents as possible with notifications. Social media is a good tool, but not everyone uses it. So, please sign up for Code RED. Also, there is a temporary flight restriction in this area. Do not fly drones in the area. They are dangerous for the aircraft fighting the fires," Chief of Police Kara Riley said in a statement.