losangelesnewstoday.com June 20, 2018

Latest on Sawmill Fire: Top-level team now managing wildfire fight

28 April 2017, 01:01 | Nina Hammond

Crews warn of drone use near wildfires KGUN9

Crews warn of drone use near wildfires                      KGUN9

Sheriff's spokeswoman Carol Capas says most of the fire has been in eastern Pima County but that it has burned eastward about a half-mile into Cochise County.

A Red Flag Warning has been issued for Thursday and Friday which means more high winds for the firefighters to compete with.

The fire, which started Sunday south of Green Valley near Madera Canyon, blew northeastward across the northern foothills of the Santa Rita Mountains.

"Yes, in the sense that the areas where they're mopping up, the fire has passed through and they're just making sure they have a clearing so the fire doesn't jump", Cordova said.

The nuns went to an evacuation center at the Santa Cruz County fairgrounds in nearby Sonoita where local residents flocked to offer shelter to the evacuees.

The nuns all stayed at a bed-and-breakfast.

Those areas were about a dozen miles from the fire, but some scattered dwellings are closer.

She says they were allowed to return Tuesday when the fire moved further away and in another direction.

Mother Nature is not helping fire crews battle the Sawmill Fire in southern Arizona.

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The Type 3 team that was managing the fire burning in and around the Santa Rita Mountains southeast of Tucson was replaced late Tuesday by a high-level Type 2 team, and the Type 2 itself is going to be replaced by a Type 1 team.

There are seven helicopters and three fixed-wing aircraft assigned to the operation, said Manny Cordova, a fire incident management team spokesman.

He said he wouldn't be surprised to learn the fire had reached more than 30,000 acres.

The Empire Ranch, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is 10 miles north of Sonoita and 50 miles southeast of Tucson in Las Cienegas National Conservation Area.

The weather is expected to give firefighters a southern Arizona wildfire a break Wednesday before winds pick up again.

Now, the fire has stretched over 40,000 acres and 600 personnel are working to stop it. "Our biggest problem is the house is covered with slurry", he wrote, adding that a crew from the Sonoita-Elgin Fire District washed the slurry off his house, which is in the Singing Valley area near Sonoita.

"We have roughly 360 people on the fire at the moment".

There were no reports of injuries from the wildfire, and it wasn't yet known if structures were damaged, said Lt. John Cambra, a fire incident commander.

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