Fire crews prevented a wildfire from threatening structures about a quarter-mile away from parts of Bisbee Thursday night, an official said.
The Wildcat Fire had burned approximately 100 acres in Zacatecas Canyon, according to Carol Capas, spokeswoman for the Cochise County Sheriff’s Department.
Initial reports of the fire came in at about 2 p.m. Thursday, Capas said.
Officials cautioned residents in the Brewery Gulch, Main Street and Tombstone Canyon areas to be ready for possible evacuations by gathering items such as personal papers and medications in a ready-to-carry bag. Bisbee High School was designated as an emergency shelter by the American Red Cross for possible evacuations.
The advisory for evacuation preparations was lifted shortly before 8:30 p.m.
As of Thursday night, the Wildcat Fire was 30 percent contained, its forward progress had been stopped and no structures were threatened, Capas said.
Barbara Johnson co-owns Mimosa Market on the end of the pavement of Brewery Avenue, which runs through Brewery Gulch in Old Bisbee. That’s the end of Brewery Gulch closest to Zacatecas Canyon, she said. Johnson said they could see smoke and that police had set up barricades in the street in front of the store.
The winds had been shifting all day, creating concerns evacuations would be needed, but by Thursday evening, if looked like the fire was moving away from Bisbee, Johnson said.
In their 15 years in Bisbee, the couple has seen worse, she noted.
In the 2007 Moon Fire, “we could see flames coming over the mountains across the street from the store.”
Tom Wheeler, a former Bisbee mayor, said he could see the smoke of the fire during the day Thursday when standing outside his home, and heard firefighting helicopters and planes flying overhead.
“But there’s a mountain in between me and where the fire is,” he said.
Emergency personnel are continuing to monitor the scene and will advise residents of any changes.
On Friday morning, Arizona State Forestry said a fire investigator was sent to the area to determine the cause.