San Rafael Fire Update: Sunday, May 8, 2022
Start date – Saturday, May 7, 2022
Size – 10,000 acres
Containment – 0%
Location – 22 miles SE of Patagonia
Cause- Under Investigation
Patagonia, AZ (5/8/22) – Due to Red Flag conditions, including wind gusts up to 45 miles per hour, the San Rafael Fire is being reported at 10,000 acres. The wind-driven fire continues to push to the northeast across a heavy grass crop and is burning actively on the northeast side. Multiple hand crews and engines are currently engaged in fire suppression efforts. Aircraft, to include, Single Engine Air Tankers (SEATs), Very Large Air Tankers (VLATs), a Large Air Tanker (LAT), and helicopters are also assigned to the fire.
At noon today, the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management transitioned the fire to the Southeast Zone Type 3 Incident Management Team. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office reports evacuations, or GO, for the San Rafael Valley and residences on Canelo Pass Road and Canelo Road. As with any wildfire incident, residents are urged to be on alert and be aware of their surroundings. Due to constantly changing conditions, more evacuations may be necessary. DFFM is working closely with the Sheriff’s Office on the need for evacuations or pre evacuations. The Arizona Department of Transportation has also closed State Route 83 northbound at the Cochise-Santa Cruz County line at milepost 10. For updated traffic information, dial 5-1-1.
A Red Flag Warning was issued for the fire area through Sunday evening for high winds, low relative humidity, and very high to extreme fire behavior. The dry fuel bed coupled with those conditions are challenging firefighters and making suppression efforts difficult. On Saturday, May 7, 2022, around 6:30 pm, DFFM along with federal and local cooperators responded to the San Rafael Fire, approximately 22 miles southeast of Patagonia, in the San Rafael State Natural Area. One secondary structure has been confirmed destroyed. The fire is under investigation at this time.