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Bighorn

Unit Information

Coronado National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
300 W. Congress St.
Tucson, AZ 85701

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Incident Contacts

Public Information Phone Line
Phone: 520-329-7439
Hours: M-F 8am-8pm SS 8am-8pm

Public Information Phone Line #2
Phone: 520-276-8981
Hours: M-F 8am-8pm SS 8am-8pm

Highlighted Activity

07/08/2020 Bighorn Fire online community meeting
 Southwest Area Incident Management Team 4 will be hosting a virtual community meeting online Thursday July 9th at 8:00 p.m.Please join us on Facebook Live on the Bighorn Fire Info page. You do not..
Announcement - 07/08/2020
different days fire growth shown in different colorsImage options: [ Full Size ]

On June 5, 2020 at 10:22PM a lightning strike started the Bighorn Fire in the Catalina Mountains northwest of Tucson, Arizona on the Coronado National Forest.   

Dry, windy conditions pushed the fire closer to communities and forced evacuations. 

The Southwest Area Incident Management Team 4, led by Carl Schwope, assumed command of the Bighorn Fire on Sunday, July 5, 2020 at 6 a.m.

The fire is in steep and rugged terrain in the Pusch Ridge Wilderness and extends east to Redington Road. The fire remains approximately ½ mile north of Catalina Foothills, 3 miles south of Oracle and 3 miles east of Saddlebrooke. Due to the fire, Catalina State Park and several popular trails in the area are closed including Romero Canyon, Pima Canyon, Finger Rock, Pontatoc, Pontatoc Ridge and Linda Vista. The vegetation in the area consists of tall grass, brush, dormant brush and hardwood slash.  Improving weather conditions and increased moisture has greatly slowed fire activity, but isolated areas of heat and smoke can still found within the fire perimeter.

Smoke impacts to surrounding communities are being carefully monitored. 

Firefighters continue to monitor and patrol firelines. Incident-managed infrared drones are being used to gather important data to aid firefighters.  At this point in the incident, efforts are shifting to repairing damage and disturbance caused by fire suppression activities and stabilizing firelines in order to reduce erosion. Firefighter are retrieving, cleaning and repairing firefighting equipment and preparing it for use on future fires. Firefighters are still prepared to respond to any new fires that may occur.

Wildfires are a No Drone Zone for private drones.  A temporary flight restriction is in place over the fire area. Every time a private drone is spotted near the fire all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of this area. More info visit Know Before You Fly, http://knowbeforeyoufly.org.  

Communities can expect to see crews and apparatus working in an around subdivisions in the Catalina Foothills. Members of the public are advised to drive with caution and leave roadways clear for emergency vehicles. Residents are urged to sign up to receive emergency alerts for Pima, Pinal and Chochise Counties.


To facilitate firefighting efforts and protect the safety of the public, the Coronado National Forest Santa Catalina Ranger District expanded the forest closure order. The restricted area is bounded along the Forest boundary south and east to the northeast corner of the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, northeast along the Forest boundary to its northeastern terminus at Sabino Creek, Sabino Creek north to the Arizona Trail, the Arizona Trail northwest to the junction with Romer Trail, and the Romero Trail northwest to Catalina State Park. View the updated closure order and map at https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/6741/.

Fire Information Phone Line: (520) 329-7439, 8AM-8PM
Media Phone Line: (520) 329-7640, 8AM-8PM 
InciWeb: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6741/  
Facebook: www.facebook.com/bighornfireinfo
Smoke Outlook: https://wildlandfiresmoke.net/outlooks/EasternArizona   

    

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
CauseLightning
Date of OriginFriday June 05th, 2020 approx. 10:00 PM
LocationNortheast of Tucson
Incident CommanderSouthwest Area Team 4, Carl Schwope IC
Incident DescriptionWildfire
Coordinates32.378 latitude, -110.943 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel302
Size119,020 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained79%
Fuels Involved

Short Grass (1 foot)

Brush (2 feet)

Hardwood Litter

Primary fuels on the southern and western portions of the fire in Esperero, West Fork of Sabino Canyon,and Lemmon Creek, as well as along the western flank of Samaniego Ridge are short grasses and short brush. Fuels within CDO Canyon at the head of the fire are short grasses on the tops and sides of the rolling hills with mesquite and denser shrubs such as manzanita in the drainage bottoms. Pockets of timber with an understory of brush are found within upper elevation canyons in the vicinity of Mt.Lemmon. Within the old Burro Fire, fuel models change to a grass type that is more continuous than the surrounding area.

Significant Events

Moderate

Backing

Flanking

Creeping

Fire continues to back downslope in light grass and timber litter. Fuel bed is sparse and broken with large expanses of open rock.

Outlook

Projected Incident Activity

Fire continues to back down Bear and Palisades canyons towards Sabino Canyon proper. Fire continues to smolder in the bottom of Willow canyon below Catalina Highway.

Remarks

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Today's Observed conditions as of 1500: It was hot and sunny with maximum temperatures ranging from 80 to 91 degrees over the upper elevations to 108 degrees on the valley floor. Minimum relative humidity values were low for July, 10 to 15 percent below 7,000 feet and 15 to 20 percent above. 20-foot winds this afternoon were westerly at 6 to 12 mph, with gusts 20 to 25 mph.

Wednesday's Forecast: Partly cloudy with a slight chance for an afternoon shower or thunderstorm. Minimum humidity levels will range from 15 to 19% across the lower elevations and 19 to 25 percent over the higher elevations with temperatures in the 101 to 106 degree range in the valleys. The Haines Index will be a 3. LAL 1. CWR 10 percent.

Outlook: Thursday through Sunday, it will be an increasingly hot and mostly dry period with temperatures peaking on Sunday. Some moisture may sneak into the region by Sunday for a slight chance of a thunderstorm. Temperatures will remain in the 101 to 107 degree range Thursday and Friday then increase to 110-112 over the weekend. Minimum humidity levels will around 15% in the valleys and 20 to 30% across the ridges. Winds will be light except for a 10 to 15 mph northwesterly breeze each afternoon. The exception would be the potential for strong, gusty and erratic winds due to thunderstorms