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Kitt Peak Observatory, tribal community evacuated by fire

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Posted at 5:45 PM, Jun 17, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-17 20:45:18-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) — A wildfire in southern Arizona has forced evacuations of a small tribal community and Kitt Peak National Observatory.

Fire officials said Friday the blaze’s growth northward prompted a decision to evacuate the community of Pan Tak on the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation.

Meanwhile, electricity at the observatory has been shut down and employees evacuated.

More than 300 firefighters along with five helicopters are working on containing the 18-square-mile blaze.

They are also are trying to keep it from reaching a ranching community.

The lightning-caused wildfire was first reported June 11 roughly 20 miles east of Sells.

It started on a remote ridge of the Baboquivari Mountain range.

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