Wildland hand crews stood at the ready Wednesday as the Oak Tree Fire crept toward Highway 83 at milepost 43, north of Sonoita.

Firefighting crews strengthened fire lines and worked to keep the Oak Tree Fire within the line’s perimeters Thursday, despite windy conditions with gusts of up to 37 mph.

The fire burned 2,023 acres and was kept east of Arizona 83, north of Empire Ranch Road, south of Davidson Canyon and west of Cienega Creek, said Michelle Fidler, a National Park Service spokeswoman.

“We hope to hold the fire through the wind,” she said.

On Friday morning, winds in the fire area are expected to gust up to 18 mph and grow up to 35 mph by the afternoon, said Lee Carlaw, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Tucson.

The fire, near Sonoita, remained 50 percent contained, and authorities had no estimate when it would be fully contained.

Nearly 200 firefighters were assigned to battle it. Aircraft was used Thursday only to monitor the blaze, said Fidler, adding that the fire’s growth potential is low.

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Nine firefighters monitored the fire Thursday night, and crews will mop up hot spots and patrol the fire Friday.

The fire was three miles from a house, but no evacuations or alerts were in effect Thursday night.

The human-caused fire was reported Wednesday at 1:15 p.m. Fidler said.

On Thursday evening a new wildfire was reported in Redington Pass northeast of Tucson, east of Aliso Canyon. Firefighters were on their way to the Aliso Fire Thursday night, Fidler said; no details were available.

Contact reporter Carmen Duarte at cduarte@tucson.com or 573-4104. Twitter: @cduartestar

Reporter

Carmen started at the Star in 1981 and covers the aging population. She wrote “Mama’s Santos: An Arizona Life”, a book about the Mexican and Mexican-American experience in the Southwest through stories about her family. It won 11 awards.