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UPDATE: Contreras Fire reaches 100% containment

Part of the Contreras Fire burning on the slopes of the Kitt Peak mountain on Thursday evening...
Part of the Contreras Fire burning on the slopes of the Kitt Peak mountain on Thursday evening June, 16.(KPNO/NOIRLab/NSF/AURA)
Published: Jun. 13, 2022 at 3:09 PM MST|Updated: Jun. 24, 2022 at 11:19 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The Contreras Fire in the Baboquivari Mountains is fully contained after burning 29,482 as of Thursday, June 23.

The fire received up to 2 inches of rain on Thursday, helping crews contain the fire completely. Accelerated demobilization of resources is in progress.

A Bureau of Indian Affairs Type 4 Incident Management Team will assume command on Saturday, June 25, with resources sufficient to perform any mop-up and suppression repair activities.

Kitt Peak National Observatory remains evacuated, but electrical crews and maintenance workers have been allowed into the area to address infrastructure needs.

Residents of Pan Tak returned home Wednesday evening. Smoke may be visible from within the containment area as spot fires continue to burn.

The fire was started by a lightning strike on Saturday, June 11.

KITT PEAK HIT

The Contreras Fire reached the Kitt Peak National Observatory on June 16.

The National Science Foundation’s NOIRLab said crews battled the fire by clearing trees and brush near the observatory. They also dropped fire retardant around the facility.

Despite that work, the fire crested a ridge where the “Hiltner 2.4-meter Telescope, McGraw-Hill 1.3-meter Telescope, Very Long Baseline Array Dish and UArizona 12-meter Telescope are located.”

One residential building, a dormitory and two outbuildings were destroyed. Power poles were destroyed, cutting off power to the observatory.

“NSF’s NOIRLab is deeply grateful to the firefighters working at the site and for the support of the Tohono O’odham community at this challenging time. Safety remains our top priority,” the group said in a post.

CONTRERAS FIRE FAST FACTS

SIZE

  • 29,482 acres.

CONTAINMENT

  • 100%

CAUSE

  • Lightning strike north of Baboquivari Peak on Saturday, June 11.

EVACUATION ORDERS

  • Kitt Peak National Observatory.

ROAD CLOSURES

  • State Route 386, the road to Kitt Peak National Observatory.

PERSONNEL

  • Total: 254.
  • Crews: 1.
  • Engines: 4.
  • Water Tenders: 1.

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