Lizard Fire forces families out of their homes - Tucson News Now

Lizard Fire forces families out of their homes

Source: KOLD Source: KOLD
Source: KOLD Source: KOLD
COCHISE COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Wildland fire crews have made progress on the Lizard Fire, gaining five percent containment on Saturday. Overnight, the fire grew to more than 10,000 acres. It is burning in the Dragoon Mountains, near Benson. Lighting sparked the blaze.

The winds have been especially challenging for fire crews. Fire officials said the strong gusts drove the fire toward high-voltage power lines, which increased the danger for firefighters. But fire crews were successful in protecting the threatened homes.

“Flames all the way down and hitting the ground and I knew that was danger,” said Elaine Montesinos, who was evacuated from the Lizard fire.

On Saturday morning, the Lizard Fire came rushing down the mountain right toward Montesinos' home, just as police knocked on her door and told her and her husband to evacuate.

“He said that’s it, you’re going to have to go,” Montesinos said.

Scrambling, she had just minutes to grab their medications, pictures and some clothes.

“Scary, because you cannot in your mind think what do I take? What’s most important what don’t I need right this moment,” Montesinos said.

But then a few hours later, there was a sigh of relief as officials opened up Dragoon Road and allowed the Montesinos to return.

“He gave us the thumbs up,” Montesinos said.

Montesinos saw the burn scar nearby, as a sign of how close the fire came to her property, with a haze of smoke blanketing the sky. Firefighters focused on trying to slow the fire's progression, while facing challenging terrain.

“It’s very rugged and rocky. Steep county so to put crews in this portion of the fire is not safe for us,” Craig Daugherty, Operations-Section Chief said.

As for Montesinos, she plans to keep her bags packed and a close eye on her backyard, just in case the wind shifts and she has to get out, again.

“I’m just going to open that door and I’m just going to run. Everything else can be replaced but your life can’t and your family and everything,” Montesinos said.

There is a Red Cross Shelter open for evacuees at the Valley Union High School at 4088 E Jefferson Road, Elfrida, Arizona. For more information, call the Cochise Emergency Operations Center at 520-432-9820.

On Sunday June 11, a community meeting will take place at 4:30 p.m. at the Sunsites Community Center, 1216 Treasure Road, Sunsites.

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

Copyright 2017 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

  • Wildfire tragedyMore>>

  • Former Granite Mountain Hotshot plays best friend in movie about Yarnell Hill Fire

    Former Granite Mountain Hotshot plays best friend in movie about Yarnell Hill Fire

    Friday, October 20 2017 1:07 AM EDT2017-10-20 05:07:39 GMT
    Brandon Bunch might have been with the Granite Mountain Hotshots that fateful June day more than four years ago, but just two weeks earlier, he left the hotshots to tend to his pregnant wife and their family. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 and Black Label Media)Brandon Bunch might have been with the Granite Mountain Hotshots that fateful June day more than four years ago, but just two weeks earlier, he left the hotshots to tend to his pregnant wife and their family. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5 and Black Label Media)

    Meet a former member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who, but for a twist of fate, might have died with his team in the devastating Yarnell Hill Fire. Now he's part of the movie that tells their story.

    Meet a former member of the Granite Mountain Hotshots who, but for a twist of fate, might have died with his team in the devastating Yarnell Hill Fire. Now he's part of the movie that tells their story.

  • Cast, crew and firefighters attend screening of 'Only the Brave' at Tempe Marketplace

    Cast, crew and firefighters attend screening of 'Only the Brave' at Tempe Marketplace

    Tuesday, October 10 2017 8:49 AM EDT2017-10-10 12:49:57 GMT
    Wednesday, October 11 2017 5:25 AM EDT2017-10-11 09:25:24 GMT
    Fans came out to Harkins Tempe Marketplace from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. to see some of the stars walk the red carpet like Josh Brolin, Miles Teller and James Badge Dale. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)Fans came out to Harkins Tempe Marketplace from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. to see some of the stars walk the red carpet like Josh Brolin, Miles Teller and James Badge Dale. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    Cast and crew members, along with Arizona firefighters and first responders, will be in attendance at Tempe Marketplace for the red carpet screening of "Only the Brave", the Columbia Pictures movie based on the Granite Mountain Hotshots, on Tuesday night.

    Cast and crew members, along with Arizona firefighters and first responders, will be in attendance at Tempe Marketplace for the red carpet screening of "Only the Brave", the Columbia Pictures movie based on the Granite Mountain Hotshots, on Tuesday night.

  • 4TH ANNIVERSARY

    Arizona remembers deadly Yarnell Hill Fire as Goodwin Fire burns

    Arizona remembers deadly Yarnell Hill Fire as Goodwin Fire burns

    Thursday, June 29 2017 4:16 PM EDT2017-06-29 20:16:48 GMT
    Friday, June 30 2017 9:32 PM EDT2017-07-01 01:32:11 GMT
    19 Granite Mountain hotshots died June 30, 2013, trying to save Yarnell from an erratic wildfire. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)19 Granite Mountain hotshots died June 30, 2013, trying to save Yarnell from an erratic wildfire. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

    Even as hundreds of firefighters battle the massive Goodwin Fire south of Prescott, Arizonans' hearts and minds are looking back four years to those who died in the Yarnell Hill Fire.

    Even as hundreds of wildland firefighters battle the massive Goodwin Fire burning in Yavapai County south of Prescott, Arizonans' hearts and minds are looking back four years to the wildfire that killed 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots.

  • Arizona WildfiresWildfiresMore>>

  • UPDATE: Fire fighters extinguish brush fire on east side

    UPDATE: Fire fighters extinguish brush fire on east side

    Tuesday, January 2 2018 9:12 AM EST2018-01-02 14:12:26 GMT
    Fire fighters battled a brush fire on the east side of Tucson early Tuesday morning. (Source: Tucson News Now)Fire fighters battled a brush fire on the east side of Tucson early Tuesday morning. (Source: Tucson News Now)

    Fire fighters battled a brush fire on the east side of Tucson early Tuesday morning.

    Fire fighters battled a brush fire on the east side of Tucson early Tuesday morning.

  • AZ firefighter shares incredible video from massive CA wildfire

    AZ firefighter shares incredible video from massive CA wildfire

    Monday, December 18 2017 8:20 PM EST2017-12-19 01:20:58 GMT
    Monday, December 18 2017 8:20 PM EST2017-12-19 01:20:58 GMT
    (Source: Daisy Mountain Fire Department)(Source: Daisy Mountain Fire Department)

    Daisy Mountain firefighter and paramedic Jay Walter has been in California since the fire broke out and took some incredible video and pictures over the weekend when wind once again kicked the fire into high gear.

    Daisy Mountain firefighter and paramedic Jay Walter has been in California since the fire broke out and took some incredible video and pictures over the weekend when wind once again kicked the fire into high gear.

  • Pres. Trump calls wife of hospitalized Sen. John McCain

    Pres. Trump calls wife of hospitalized Sen. John McCain

    Saturday, December 16 2017 7:51 PM EST2017-12-17 00:51:25 GMT
    Saturday, December 16 2017 7:51 PM EST2017-12-17 00:51:25 GMT
    (Source- AP Photo Cliff Owen)(Source- AP Photo Cliff Owen)

    President Donald Trump has called the wife of John McCain as the Arizona senator is hospitalized for cancer treatments. 

    President Donald Trump has called the wife of John McCain as the Arizona senator is hospitalized for cancer treatments. 

  • Local newsMore>>

  • FINAL: No. 14 Arizona beats Stanford in a thriller 73-71

    FINAL: No. 14 Arizona beats Stanford in a thriller 73-71

    Sunday, January 21 2018 3:29 AM EST2018-01-21 08:29:35 GMT

    No. 14 Arizona rallied from 11 points down in the second half to beat the Cardinal and take sole possession of 1st place in the Pac-12.

    No. 14 Arizona rallied from 11 points down in the second half to beat the Cardinal and take sole possession of 1st place in the Pac-12.

  • Gate closed at Saguaro National Park East

    Gate closed at Saguaro National Park East

    Sunday, January 21 2018 12:44 AM EST2018-01-21 05:44:35 GMT
    A sign greeted visitors to Saguaro National Park East (Source: Tucson News Now).A sign greeted visitors to Saguaro National Park East (Source: Tucson News Now).

    It’s an unusual site at Saguaro national Park East. There are several cars lined up along Freeman Street and the entrance gate to the park is closed and locked. All due to the government shutdown. The park is allowing visitors to hike or ride a bike on the trails.

    It’s an unusual site at Saguaro national Park East. There are several cars lined up along Freeman Street and the entrance gate to the park is closed and locked. All due to the government shutdown.

  • UPDATE: Power restored, intersections reopened on Tucson's west side

    UPDATE: Power restored, intersections reopened on Tucson's west side

    Saturday, January 20 2018 9:29 PM EST2018-01-21 02:29:24 GMT
    Source: TEPSource: TEP

    More than 2,600 Tucson Electric Power customers have their power back on Saturday evening. The majority of the customers had it returned before 5:00 p.m., with roughly 250 others seeing the restoration before 7:00 p.m.

    More than 2,600 Tucson Electric Power customers have their power back on Saturday evening. The majority of the customers had it returned before 5:00 p.m., with roughly 250 others seeing the restoration before 7:00 p.m.

Powered by Frankly