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Summerhaven, Willow Canyon residents allowed to return to homes after Bighorn Fire evacuations

(FILE) Fire crews stationed on Mt. Lemmon and in the Summerhaven area after the Bighorn Fire.
Posted at 7:24 PM, Jul 08, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-08 22:24:58-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — For the first time in more than three weeks, full-time and part-time residents of Summerhaven and Willow Canyon are being allowed to return to their homes.

The Pima County Sheriff's Department first announced the return of full-time residents on Tuesday evening. Now, they're allowing part-time residents up the mountain as well.

But there are some restrictions for when and how residents can return to their homes. Here are the rules, as specified by PCSD:

Residents and employees will be escorted by a Pima County Sheriff's Department patrol car in a convoy along Catalina Highway until further notice. The escorting vehicle will have its overhead lights on during the escort.

The daily schedule is:

5:30 am – Leaving Willow Canyon near milepost 16 for milepost 0

8:00 am – Leaving milepost 0 for Willow Canyon

12:00 noon- Leaving Willow Canyon near milepost 16 for milepost 0

1:00 pm – Leaving milepost 0 for Willow Canyon

5:00 pm – Leaving Willow Canyon near milepost 16 for milepost 0

6:00 pm – Leaving milepost 0 for Willow Canyon – (no other trips up or down til morning)

You must be at Willow Canyon at 5:30 am, 12:00 noon, or 5:00 pm in order to come back down the mountain with the mandatory escort.

· No stopping along the route for photos, etc.
· People may stay overnight or longer, and are free to travel from Willow Canyon to Summerhaven and within Summerhaven, but may not otherwise use Catalina Highway unless escorted.
· No hiking, walking, camping, or other activities are permitted in the forest.
· Violators will be escorted off the mountain and will not allowed to return until it is fully opened.
· Access for non-full time residents will be evaluated by the IMT over the next week.

The above restrictions are for your safety and the safety of the fire crews still on the mountain. Please drive carefully.

A community trash dumpster will be located in the parking area south of the Community Center. Please dispose of spoiled food in that container.