Local ranch foreman describes close call with Lizard Fire - Tucson News Now

Local ranch foreman describes close call with Lizard Fire

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

A close call for local ranch foreman Jesse Dean and his crew has them scrambling to prepare for the Lizard Fire to strike again.

The group refused to leave the former Broken Arrow Ranch Friday, June 9, as the Lizard Fire crept in their direction. He said the area was evacuated, but decided to stay to help protect the property.

They were clearing brush and grass when the fire came over the hill.

“Flames were 40 feet high and you have this roar, sounds like the ocean, like a roar when the fire hits,” described Dean.

His coworker Soleil Weinberg had a camera ready.

(Fire on June 9. Source: Soleil Weinberg/Lizard Fire)

(Fire on June 9. Source: Soleil Weinberg/Lizard Fire)

(Fire on June 9. Source: Soleil Weinberg/Lizard Fire)

“All you see is the firemen disappearing into the smoke. They were going straight into the fire and you didn't know if they were coming out or not,” said Weinberg.

(Fire on June 9. Source: Soleil Weinberg/Lizard Fire)

On Monday, June 12, about two miles south of Broken Arrow ranch, the two scrambled to mow grass and clear brush on another ranch that’s under construction.

Smoke from the Lizard Fire could be seen an estimated two miles away into the mountains from the Broken Arrow property.

Dean explained they are taking extra precautions with the equipment by keeping fire extinguishers nearby.

“If this (lawn mower hits a rock), it could cause a spark and start a fire,” he explained.

Dean said officials warned him the fire is coming in his direction.

“It’s been really scary for a lot of the guys working here. I had a lot of them just panicking and freaking out,” said Dean.

Hot shots dug cleared a three-mile fire line at the back of the property, while federal forest officials parked at the ranch to watch the fire behavior closely.

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