Warmer Temperatures and Wind Will Challenge Firefighters Tuesday
Elgin, AZ (5/24/22) – Fueled by winds and pockets of dry vegetation, the fire stayed active overnight. The fire made a push to the east, but firefighters were able to safely and directly engage it to keep it from coming off Mustang Mountain and toward high priority values at risk. One of today’s main objectives is to keep the fire from moving to the east near kilovolt (kV) lines that supply power to the communities of Fort Huachuca and Sierra Vista. To meet those objectives, additional hand crews and aircraft have been ordered for Tuesday. Crews will also work today to establish containment line at the head of the fire to keep the fire south of State Route 82 and out of the Rain Valley community. Other objectives include, keeping the fire away from Upper Elgin Road to protect the communities of Elgin and Sonoita and slowing spread to the southeast to protect the Babacomari Ranch.
Fuels are unseasonably dry, thus fire behavior at times, can be erratic and extreme. As with more recent fires in Southern Arizona over the last few weeks, the Elgin Bridge Fire has been wind-driven, pushing through tall and short grass, brush, and chaparral. Tuesday’s weather may escalate fire behavior and challenge efforts to suppress the fire. A Red Flag Warning has been issued for the southeastern portion of the state. While the warning does not specifically include the fire area, increased winds, warm temperatures, and low relative humidity play a role in fire activity. Due to those conditions, moderate growth is expected for Tuesday. The fire is burning in a semi-remote area and impacting State Trust, Bureau of Land Management and private lands. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office has lifted the GO notification for residences along Mustang Ranch Road, east of Elgin. Scattered ranch houses ahead of the fire also remain impacted, and while there are no additional SET or GO notifications, residents are urged to stay alert and have situational awareness. Wildfire conditions can change at a moment’s notice and residents must stay prepared for ever-evolving circumstances.
An estimated 210 personnel are on the fire including state, federal and local cooperators. Twelve engines, seven hand crews, along with aircraft resources are assigned. The fire started Monday morning, May 23, northeast of Elgin within Santa Cruz County. It is under investigation. There are no road closures at this time, but drivers should check with the Arizona Department of Transportation for road updates and closure information. Stage 2 fire restrictions take effect on state and federal lands on Wednesday, May 25, 2022, at 0800. For the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, that includes State Trust Land within Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, Pima, Pinal, and Santa Cruz Counties.