Bighorn Fire nears finish line

Bighorn Fire Residents Return

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Bighorn Fire that has been burning for longer than five weeks is nearing full containment.

As of Tuesday, July 14, Forest Service crews reported 89% containment. It first sparked on June 5 by lightning and grew to more than 119,500 acres in the following weeks.

Christina Pearson with the Coronado National Forest said we're not out of the woods yet, but they are breathing a sign of relief.

“I have been here since day one and I’m tired,” joked Pearson.

But it’s an understandable feeling after five weeks on the front lines.

“We definitely had the struggles plus we had a lot of values at risk,” Pearson said.

Between the wind, steep elevation, and low humidity, fire crews got little help from Mother Nature.

“You go out there and you see it and witness it on a progression map and it’s still kind of overwhelming to see that.”

Pearson said the Incident Meteorologists helped them get ahead and to protect Summerhaven and other properties at risk.

Protecting homes like the one of Jon and Karrie Altland.

“It was like a quarter mile from here so we was worried,” said Jon Altland said.

Who like many other communities members can’t express their thanks enough.

“I want to say thank you for saving our house and our community and for all your hard work,” Karrie Altland said.

The many signs showing support can still be seen on street corners, and Pearson says it did not go unnoticed.

“We’re out there 16-hour days, we’re hot we’re tired it just — the moral, it lifts the moral and really boosts everybody up after these days,” Pearson said.

On a fire that those on both sides won’t forget.

"You guys should be proud. You guys should be proud," said Jon.

The fire was handed back to the forest service who will be monitoring it for the future until it is fully contained.

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