Marana brush fire burns mile and a half of Santa Cruz River

Published: May. 18, 2016 at 8:28 PM MST|Updated: May. 19, 2016 at 1:59 AM MST
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Northwest Fire District sent one engine and one brush truck to the scene. (Source: Jane Hall)
Northwest Fire District sent one engine and one brush truck to the scene. (Source: Jane Hall)
(Source: Jane Hall)
(Source: Jane Hall)

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Firefighters from the Northwest Fire District were called out for a brush fire in Marana on Wednesday afternoon, May 18.

The fire was burning in the Santa Cruz River behind Coyote Trail Elementary School, near North Silverbell and North Cortaro roads, according to NWFD Capt. Brian Keeley.

MOBILE USERS: Photos of the fire can be seen HERE.

The school was not considered to be threatened by the fire, Keeley said.

Authorities briefly closed Cortaro Road.

The fire started around 3:30 p.m. and was fully contained by 5:30, Keeley said. But firefighters stayed on scene well past 8:30, putting out hot spots.

They plan to check it periodically overnight to ensure no burning embers remain, he said.

Nobody was evacuated in the mostly residential area, but thick smoke affected air quality, so dispatchers were instructed to advise callers to shelter in place if the smell of smoke was bothering them, Keeley said.

Light fuel driven quickly by the wind ended up burning in a 300-foot swath down about a mile and a half of the Santa Cruz River, from just north of Coyote Trail Elementary School to just south of Cortaro Road. About two dozen firefighters used two wildland engines and three structural fire engines to douse the flames.

"NWFD is investigating the cause, including the possibility that it was intentionally set," Keeley said.

The Marana Police Department requests that if anyone saw anything suspicious, they should call the police.

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