Bighorn Fire damage assessment starting on Mount Lemmon

Crews getting look at damage Bighorn Fire left on Mount Lemmon

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Bighorn Fire has been raging for a month and has burned more than 118,000 acres in the Santa Catalinas Mountains.

Crews have done such a great job on Mount Lemmon, teams are now able to take a look at the damage the fire caused.

Bighorn Fire Public Information Officer Mike De Fries said the back burning efforts helped stop the fire from spreading to the homes and buildings.

“A lot of the ground you see around it has been burned and again, that is low to medium intensity burns that were done intentionally to create a buffer,” he said.

The Pima County Department of Transportation found multiple sign posts, such as mile markers, burned but the pavement wasn’t affected. The burned areas are now a concern for flooding, especially with monsoon storms coming.

“Of course we want the rain to help deal with this fire and put the fire out, but too much rain can create flash flooding,” De Fries said.

Crews will continue assessing the damage and find out what repairs are needed.

“Our crews in those areas continue to patrol, but are looking towards the next stages which are to repair and rehabilitate those fire lines,” he said.

Mount Lemmon and Summerhaven remain under evacuation orders as crews continue monitoring the area.

“There is definitely interest in letting people back in as soon as it is possible,” De Fries said. “There’s still a lot of vehicles going in and out and work to be done.”

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