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Western Hemp Fire 30% contained, crews work to repair electric pole damage

Approx. 1,098 acres burned
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Posted at 11:07 AM, Jun 27, 2023

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (KGUN) — UPDATE 06/28 10:45 a.m.

The Fort Huachuca West Gate and Canelo Road have re-opened, according to an Army spokesperson.

The fire is currently at 30% containment, with about 1,098 burned. Crews say they plan to work the inside of the perimeter, and the number of firefighters has been reduced from 109 to 76.

Damaged power poles are undergoing repair, and Fort Huachuca expects electrical capacity fully restored by the end of the day.

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UPDATE 10:11 P.M.

The Western Hemp Fire is now 30% contained.

Crews will continue to work overnight.

UPDATE 5:30 p.m.

Fort Huachuca officials say the post's workforce is restricted to mission essential personnel Wednesday, June 28—a result of the fire's impact on the electrical grid.

In an update, Army officials say the fire destroyed a major electric line, and are asking personnel to conserve electricity:

Fort Huachuca needs your help in immediately reducing and conserving your electricity use on post. The Western Hemp Fire destroyed one of the main electric lines supplying the installation.

Our backup power supply will be significantly impacted if we are not unplugging unused electronics and adjusting thermostats to more moderate temperatures. Overuse of electricity at this critical time could be detrimental to the entire installation’s ability to support regular operations.

As a reminder, Cochise County is encouraging all residents to register for community notifications at cochise.myfreealerts.com. When you sign up, you can decide whether to receive alerts via text, email, voice or mobile apps:

UPDATE 1:45 p.m.

CCSO says the Huachuca City evacuation status has been dropped back to 'READY' status as of 1:30 p.m.

The sheriff's office reports "no threats to populated areas" at this time.

In an update from Fort Huachuca, officials say the fire has burned about 1,000 acres as of 1:45 p.m.

Officials from the post also report:

  • All horses have been evacuated from the Buffalo Corral Riding Stables area
  • All Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities at Fort Huachuca are currently closed, with the exception of:
    • Child & Youth Services
    • Army Community Services
    • The Mountain View Golf Course

Sierra Vista Fire Department, Fry Fire Department, Aravaipa Hotshots, Flagstaff Hotshots and an additional 5-man crew from the helo operations are working the wildfire this afternoon.
UPDATE 12:42 p.m.

Cochise County Sheriff's Office reports that Huachuca City is in 'SET' evacuation status as of 12:30 p.m.

CCSO says individuals with special needs should contact the office at (520) 432-9500 for additional information about an evacuation plan.

A reminder about the evacuation status tiers from CCSO:

  • "READY" status - Have a plan in place in the event of emergency
  • "SET" status - Prepare belongings and family members to leave upon evacuation notification
  • "GO" status - Evacuate the area

The Cochise County Sheriff's Office Facebook Page will have the latest evacuation and public safety information for nearby residents.

Map provided by CCSO
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UPDATE 12:22 p.m.

An update from the U.S. Army says that residents in the Apache Flats RV Park are on 'SET' evacuation status.

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The Western Hemp wildfire near Canelo Road and West Hemp Road prompted some personnel evacuations at Fort Huachuca Tuesday morning.

According to communications from Fort Huachuca, the West Gate is closed and the Black Tower is under a shelter in place.

Army officials say the U.S. Forest Service is providing air support to control the fire. They report the fire has burned about 500 acres as of 11 a.m.

Canelo Road between the West Gate and Wren Arena was closed as of 10:40 a.m. Army officials say all personnel in the Black Tower and Site Maverick area have been evacuated and are accounted for.

Officials are asking the public to avoid this area.

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Western Hemp Fire Tuesday, June 27

KGUN 9 will provide updates as more information becomes available.