Highlights: Beginning this evening at 8 p.m., a new, consolidated closure order restricting access to National Forest Systems lands in and around the Bighorn Fire will go into effect. The previous closure orders for the Bighorn fire are still in effect until 8 p.m. This order will remain in effect until November 1, 2020 or until rescinded, whichever comes first. This order is being put in place for public health and safety with the oncoming monsoon rains and numerous hazards throughout the Bighorn Fire. The closure order can be found at fs.usda.gov/alerts/coronado/alerts-notices.
The Coronado National Forest will be periodically reevaluating the closure area on National Forest Systems lands – including the Sabino Canyon Recreation Area – to assess the validity of the closure order. Adjustments to the closure order might be made based on the reevaluation. Catalina Highway will reopen to the general public once Pima County has completed its road work and is assured it is safe for open travel.
“We have implemented the closure order for public health and safety and are asking people to avoid visiting the closure area on National Forest Systems lands,” said C.J. Woodard, Santa Catalina District Ranger on the Coronado National Forest. “We understand people want to know what the area looks like and we are mindful of the importance of visitors to the businesses outside of the closure area within Summerhaven as well as the recreation opportunities, but we ask that visitors consider their own safety first.”
The closure includes recreational residences with cabins on National Forest System land. Those cabin owners will have until Friday night to vacate the area. Access to recreational residences will be reevaluated weekly. Employees of businesses operating under Special Use Permits will be allowed to continue operating and the Forest is compiling a list of personnel to assure access.
This closure does not include Catalina State Park. The park will reopen when Arizona State Parks officials determine it is safe to do so. For more information on the park, visit azstateparks.com/catalina/
The next update will be Friday.
Yesterday’s Activity: Suppression repair efforts continued with chipping, backhaul, and suppression rehabilitation.
Today’s Activity: The fire remains active in the wilderness area, so smoke might be visible until there is significant rainfall. Firefighters are monitoring it.
County Emergency Alerts: For Pima County, visit myalerts.pima.gov. For Pinal County, visit Pinal.gov/emergencymanagement and for Cochise County, visit cochise.az.gov/emergency
Closures: Sabino Canyon, Bear Canyon, Redington Road and Catalina State Park are closed. Catalina Highway is closed to the public at milepost zero. Closures and maps are available at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/closures/6741/.
Location: Santa Catalina Mountains
Date detected: June 5, 2020
Bighorn Fire Info: (520) 329-7439, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Media Phone Line: (520) 329-7640, 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Burned Area Response: inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6796/
NWS Burn Scar www.weather.gov/twc/bighorn-burn-scar