Bighorn Fire Grows to 7000 Acres

click to enlarge Bighorn Fire Grows to 7000 Acres
Jeff Gardner

After battling the Bighorn Fire on the slopes of the Catalina Mountains, fire crews will experience the highest temperatures yet today, at 107 degrees. This gusty and hot weather is one of the main reasons the Bighorn Fire is so difficult to manage; it has remained at 10 percent contained for multiple days and has grown almost a thousand acres every day since a lightning storm first ignited it on June 5.

Yesterday, the Pima County Sheriff's Office issued evacuation orders for threatened Foothills homes north of Ina Road, between Alvernon Way and First Avenue. In addition, homes between Alvernon Way and Sabino Canyon Road, north of Skyline Drive, should "be alert" for potential evacuation notices.

According to the US Department of Agriculture, more than 400 fire personnel are on the job and are prepared to execute additional firing operations today in the area of Pima Canyon if conditions allow. Firefighters working in and around communities that border the forest will be continuing their work to the east, near Ventana Canyon. These specialized crews assess potential threats to homes and infrastructure, identify access routes, and develop contingency plans in the event of fire spreading into the area.

Overnight, the fire grew to the northeast past Buster Spring into Montrose canyon. Yesterday’s work near Pima Canyon held overnight, with minimal fire growth in that area. The fire did creep over retardant lines near the upper western edge of Ventana Canyon.

Catalina State Park is currently closed, and large portions of the Coronado National Forest Santa Catalina Ranger District near the fire are restricted.

Fire crews remind the public that drones are prohibited over the fire area, as firefighting aircraft are busy and must be grounded in drones' presence. According to the National Forest Service, on June 8, a drone was observed over the Bighorn Fire’s southern perimeter, which "forced the aircraft suppression effort to be halted, endangering the lives of on the ground firefighters and the aircrews at a critical time during the height of the burning period."

More Bighorn Fire information can be found here: