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>>

  • 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.

  • 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. 

Powered by Frankly