Campers forced off of Mt. Lemmon because of Burro Fire - Tucson News Now

Campers forced off of Mt. Lemmon because of Burro Fire

Pima County Sheriff's Department closed the road to Mount Lemmon on Sunday (Source: Tucson News Now). Pima County Sheriff's Department closed the road to Mount Lemmon on Sunday (Source: Tucson News Now).
PIMA COUNTY, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Evacuations are underway on areas of Mt. Lemmon as the Burro Fire is burning 5,000 acres northeast of Tucson.

Pima County Sheriff Deputies currently have Mt. Lemmon Highway shutdown. Evacuations are in place from the base of Mt. Lemmon to Palisade Road, Mile Post 20.

Hundreds of folks were forced off the mountain on Sunday because of the Burro Fire. Now many families are left making other plans for the holiday weekend.

“We were told to evacuate so it was really a mad scramble to get the kids and our gear in before something disastrous happened,” Danny Salaz said.

The Salaz family drove down from Phoenix and set up camp at Whitetail for their Annual 4th of July vacation a top Mt Lemmon, but those plans were cut short as the Burro Fire spread rapidly.

“We threw everything in with no specific order. Tents, cooking gear, everything,” Bernice Salaz said.

Tucson News Now: "Just as fast as you could?"

Bernice Salaz: "Yes.”

But for other families, like Denise Williams, Mt. Lemmon is not just a destination spot.

“We went campsite to campsite to get people out,” Spencer Campground host, Denise Williams said.

Spencer Campground is home for her and her husband as they live there year-round to run the campground. She helped evacuated families and said she is nervous about what they will return to.

“We see the fire and the flames and we know there’s going to be so much destruction with the trees,” Williams said.

Car after car and trucks hauling campers all came down the mountain on Sunday afternoon as a haze of dark smoke was visible for miles. The Burro Fire broke out on Friday and crews are utilizing aerial support to try and stop the spread of flames. 

As the Salaz family looks for another place to stay for the 4th of July, they said they’re grateful no one was hurt.

“Things can be replaced but loved ones can’t and so we’re all calling each other making sure we’re safe and just get together at some other point,” Danny Salaz said.

At this point there is zero containment. All the camping areas and homes north of the Palisades area are currently on pre-evacuation status, however the Spencer Campground is just four miles from Summer Haven and they felt it was necessary to evacuate on Sunday.

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