A week after she evacuated her home in Summerhaven, as the Burro Fire grew, Tami Arthur learned she can now return.
“I’m a little stir crazy,” she said Monday afternoon, just hours before Pima County Sheriff’s Department announced it would allow residents access to their homes.
Weekend storms brought rain that fell on 80% of the fire area, according to the U.S. Forest Service. The weather helped firefighters finally gain the upper hand on the fire that has burned nearly 27,000 acres near the Reddington Pass area. The fire is 65 percent contained.
“We have seen some flash floods and some erratic winds and these have contributed to our firefighting efforts,” explained Ryan Traina, a public information officer assigned to the regional team managing the fire fight.
Traina said managers are now concerned about firefighter safety as flash flooding occurs where they are working. He says because the ground is so dry and much of the vegetation has been destroyed rain is running off the mountainsides faster than normal.
Traina said they’re being extra cautious because many firefighters are from out of state and aren’t as familiar with monsoon storms and subsequent floods. He said fire managers now tell crews to pull out of areas they believe could become dangerous.