The Soldier Basin wildfire near Nogales grew by 4,000 acres overnight.
The human-caused blaze now has consumed about 10,000 acres in the Coronado National Forest, five miles east of the Nogales Airport, Heidi Schewel, spokeswoman for the forest service, said in a news release.
As of 7 a.m., the fire is 55 percent contained and no structures are threatened. It is burning in steep, rocky terrain and is being fed by brush and grasses.
“Last night fire crews worked late into the night to conduct burnouts in anticipation of higher temperatures and forecast winds expected this weekend,” Schewel said. “Today fire crews plan to secure black lines along the north and east perimeter. Crews will continue patrolling and mop up of perimeter hot spots. Firefighters plan to finish remaining burnouts today. The south portion of the fire perimeter is secure now with a few spots of smoke still remaining.”
Motorists using Forest Roads 4698 and 49 into Soldier Basin should be prepared for possible delays due to burnout operations and fire personnel and vehicles working along the road, Schewel said.
Residents east of the fire will likely experience increased smoke impacts over the next few days. Smoke is likely to settle into canyons and valleys and other low-lying areas when air temperatures cool at night, she said.