Wildfire near Nogales consumes 6,000 acres so far

2013-05-22T09:45:00Z 2013-05-22T10:28:51Z Wildfire near Nogales consumes 6,000 acres so farKimberly Matas Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 22, 2013 9:45 am  • 

The Soldier Basin wildfire south of Tucson near Nogales is 15 percent contained this morning.

The human-caused fire has so far burned 6,000 acres, Michelle Fidler, spokeswoman for the Sierra Vista Ranger District, said in a news release.

The fire, in the Coronado National Forest, is about five miles east of the Nogales airport in steep rocky terrain. No structures are threatened at this time.

About 205 firefighters, plus three helicopters, 11 engines and seven water tenders, are working to extinguish the blaze, Fidler said.

“Wednesday, fire personnel plan to continue burnout operations along the north and north east flanks to tie the main body of the fire in with prepared lines,” Fidler said. “Area residents should expect to see continued fire growth and smoke as firefighters continue aerial ignitions over the next four to five days. 

“These operations will be conducted both with aerial ignition and fire fighters using drip torches on the ground. There will be increased smoke along the north flank due to burnout operations, particularly late in the afternoon. Fire activity will be highly visible, especially at night.  There is no threat to structures, as all fire activity is within the prepared fire line.” 

The objective of the crews is to keep the fire south and west of Flux Canyon, west of Forest Road 49, north of the Solder Basin drainage and east of the Coronado National Forest boundary. 

Beginning this afternoon, motorists using Forest Road 4698 and Forest Road 49 into Soldier Basin should be prepared for possible delays due to burnout operations and fire personnel and vehicles working along the roads, Fidler said. Fire personnel will escort vehicles through the area with pilot vehicles.

It is recommended that motorists use alternate roads or avoid the area altogether until these operations are complete.

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