Wildfires are a common occurrence throughout different parts of the southwest. The Santa Rita Mountains are located about 65km southeast of the Tucson area. Fire crews are currently battling a wildfire in the Santa Rita Mountains at Gunsite Pass. The fire is believed to be caused by humans, which began on Tuesday. Fire officials are doing everything they can to contain, and eliminate the fire, before it continues to spread.

 

Not the first fire in Santa Rita Mountains

Since wildfires are a common occurrence, this is not the first time that the Santa Rita Mountains have experienced a fire. In June of 2009, the Melendrez Pass in the Santa Rita Mountains burned about a total of 5,800 acres. In that incident, the fire was caused by a lightning strike, which started out small, but grew fiercely after heavy winds developed. The area burned for almost a week as several fire crews worked to battle the blaze. With another wildfire in the Santa Rita Mountains, it is almost like déjà vu.

 

Current area of the fire

The fire began on Tuesday and doubled in size overnight. By early Wednesday morning, the fire had spread over 75 acres. By 1:30 pm on Wednesday, crews reported 95 acres were destroyed by the fire. As of 5:15 pm, the number has grown to over 100 acres. Fire crews hope they can control and eliminate the fire so that it will not spread much further. 100 acres seems like a lot, but again, the fire in 2009 left 5,800 acres devastated, but was able to grow back shortly after. Officials say that the fire will continue to burn due to the wind and burning grass in steep, arduous ground. Lightning in the area remains a concern, as it can fuel the fire even more. Fire managers are actively monitoring the blaze, round the clock. These crews are hoping that precipitation in the mountains will help to decrease the fire’s activity by Thursday morning.

 

Continuing efforts to eliminate the fire

Fortunately, the fire is not currently affecting any structures in the area. Firefighters are continuing to make great progress, even with hot and dry conditions. There are four hand crews, four engines, and overhead resources prepared to continue fighting the fire come Thursday morning. Agencies helping on the scene include the Coronado National Forest, Arizona State Forestry, Tubac Fire Department, Sonoita Fire Department, and the Green Valley Fire District. Officials are hoping to have the fire eliminated by Friday at the latest.

 

Thankfully this wildfire is taking place in an area with moderate growth, which will hopefully thrive shortly after the blaze is properly put out. Investigations are currently underway,  to determine how the man made fire started. It is a shame that this fire started because of human involvement. No matter where you live, always make sure to take extra precaution when it comes to forest fires. Especially in areas like the southwest, where the dry weather conditions are favorable for wildfires. The fire in the Santa Rita Mountains could have been prevented with a little fire safety education.