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Mount Lemmon Business takes 'catastrophic' financial loss after Bighorn fire and quarantine

Summer Haven
Posted at 7:00 AM, Jul 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-22 10:01:44-04

PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. — After coming home from the Bighorn fire evacuations, Mount Lemmon business owners are struggling to stay open.

General Store Owner Grey Carpenter said from the quarantine to the fire, "revenue loss is catastrophic."

He said he close his store for three weeks because of the fire evacuations, but is now back in business for Mount Lemmon residents.

He said he had insurance money to help support him for three weeks, but is now living off of savings and unable to pay his employees.

"The businesses up here definitely depend on Tucson to survive," Carpenter said. "We are definitely pushing hard for Pima County to get things done quickly."

Carpenter said he's excited for the road to open soon, so visitors can see how beautiful Summerhaven still is after the fire.

"There wasn’t devastation that occurred in our area at least," Carpenter said. "Most of the mountain is in really good shape. Most of the bigger trees are still there, so we want people to see the beauty that is still here."

Catalina Highway is still closed to the general public until further notice.