Sawmill Fire evacuees grateful to find homes untouched - Tucson News Now

Sawmill Fire evacuees grateful to find homes untouched

Thom's untouched property. Behind it, other side of Graeterville Road where he saw #Sawmill fire crews control burn to stop spread. (Source: Tucson News Now) Thom's untouched property. Behind it, other side of Graeterville Road where he saw #Sawmill fire crews control burn to stop spread. (Source: Tucson News Now)
SONOITA, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Some pre-evacuation orders remain for a few communities near the Sawmill Fire in southern Arizona, according to an update from the incident management team coordinating the fire fight.

As of 4:30 p.m. Friday, April 26, families in Mescal, J-6, Rain Valley and Hunter Ranch were asked to be on standby with pre-evacuation orders.

Families previously forced from their homes earlier in the week have been allowed back to their property.

Thom Doran and his neighbors in the Greaterville community were some of the first to leave their homes behind this week. He and his son had their bags packed.

"We were ready to go," he said. "We didn't expect to have to go."

Doran said he watched dozens of firefighters work a controlled burn across the street from his house. The flames never crossed the street. Later that night, Doran said he woke up to flames burning high in the distance. 

They didn't wait to leave, despite being attached to the property for so many years. 

"You're thinking about outcomes and what would I do with my whole life centered around where I am now," Doran said. 

He thanks God every morning to wake up on his eight acres of land north of Sonoita. Doran is grateful to the firefighters who protected it and the neighbors who helped him on a night he had to wake up somewhere else. 

"Kudos to the people in Sonoita," he said. "They right away found us food, shelter and a place to stay for overnight."

The Sawmill Fire has burned an estimated 47,000 and crews haven't lost a single home to flames yet. Doran said "the make all the right decisions".

MOBILE USERS: Download our app on your Apple and Android devices.

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • Wildfire tragedyMore>>

  • Park, trail dedicated to 19 fallen Arizona firefighters

    Park, trail dedicated to 19 fallen Arizona firefighters

    Tuesday, November 29 2016 7:48 AM EST2016-11-29 12:48:02 GMT
    Tuesday, November 29 2016 6:51 PM EST2016-11-29 23:51:37 GMT
    (Source: KPHO/KTVK)(Source: KPHO/KTVK)

    A rugged section of brush-covered hills where 19 Arizona firefighters were killed in a 2013 wildfire was dedicated as a new state memorial park Tuesday. 

    A rugged section of brush-covered hills where 19 Arizona firefighters were killed in a 2013 wildfire was dedicated as a new state memorial park Tuesday. 

  • Some charities not handing over money meant for Hotshot families

    Some charities not handing over money meant for Hotshot families

    Tuesday, October 20 2015 12:51 AM EDT2015-10-20 04:51:14 GMT
    Tuesday, October 20 2015 2:01 PM EDT2015-10-20 18:01:41 GMT
    Two years have passed since 19 Hotshot firefighters lost their lives while battling the Yarnell Hill Fire. Donations began pouring in shortly after the tragedy from all over the world. However, it did attract some fraud and other charities willing to use the tragedy to raise funds for other needs.
    Two years have passed since 19 Hotshot firefighters lost their lives while battling the Yarnell Hill Fire. Donations began pouring in shortly after the tragedy from all over the world. However, it did attract some fraud and other charities willing to use the tragedy to raise funds for other needs.
Powered by Frankly