KGUN 9News


Montrose Fire considered under control

Posted at 8:59 AM, May 12, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-14 20:12:41-04
MOUNT LEMMON, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - The Montrose Fire on Mount Lemmon, discovered early Thursday morning, is now considered under control. Firefighters now have the blaze 80 percent contained.
The fire is burning in the area of Box Spring, three miles northwest of Rose Canyon Lake.
The fire has burned about 13 acres and is believed to be human caused.
Three crews, two engines and six water tenders are managing  the blaze.
A helicopter was dropping water, dipped from Rose Canyon Lake, to slow the fire. Crews also moved into position through extremely rough terrain to fight the fire from the ground.

" When we see a fire that starts in a location such as this with this kind of potential we're going to get the resources to it that we can as quickly as we can with full suppression efforts. So this is typical for what we've got where it is," said Heidi Schewel, Public Information Officer for Coronado National Forest Service.

The fire is burning near rental cabins in an area that was previously burned in the devastating Aspen fire in 2003. The dead trees from that fire are the main fuel for the Montrose fire. 

"Fuels are there, heavy fuels, the topography is there. When a fire burns uphill it can burn a lot faster and a lot hotter. The weather is the unknown. If the winds cut kicked up that's going to give us a big problem, so the quicker we can stop something, the smaller we can keep it, the less problem we're going to have if the winds come along," said Schewel.

An injured hiker took away from firefighting efforts as crews had to refocus to get him to safety. No word on his condition or why he was in the area.

Rose Canyon Lake will be reopened for fishing on Friday.
For the latest updates on all of the wildfires burning around Southern Arizona, click here.