Locklin Fire: The latest on the wildfire near Bisbee

Published: Tuesday, April 26, 2022 - 4:54pm
Updated: Wednesday, April 27, 2022 - 3:55pm
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April 27: Firefighters making headway battling fire

Firefighters in southern Arizona are making headway battling the Locklin Fire. The blaze was reported late Monday night in the town of Bisbee in Cochise County.  

Around 50 people in Bisbee were ordered to evacuate late Monday and remained outside their homes for most of Tuesday.

Corey Guerin with the Department of Forestry and Fire Management said that since then, hot shot crews have been working to bring the fire under control.

"We utilized crews and engines and also aviation resources earlier in the day yesterday and they got a pretty good wrap around the fire," he said.  

Guerin said the blaze was about 40% contained as of Wednesday. It’s burned around 112 acres of land so far, but didn’t reach any structures. Those evacuated were allowed to return home Tuesday evening but were told to be ready to leave again. 

Guerin said high grasses flourished with the wet monsoon last year in southern Arizona. That vegetation, coupled with severe drought, is making easy fuel for wildfires.

April 26: Wildfire burning through parts of Bisbee

Authorities are working to contain a wildfire burning through parts of the town of Bisbee in Cochise County. 

The Cochise County Sheriff’s Office reported the Locklin Fire on Facebook late Monday night and said residents in some areas of Bisbee had been ordered to evacuate.

"It did not threaten any structures thankfully, but actually spread more along the ridge, it went up rather than down, that’s how we like fires to go, if they’re going anywhere," said Bisbee City Manager Steve Pauken. 

Pauken said the firefighters were working to ensure the blaze did not reach homes, but wind conditions would determine their progress. 

A spokesperson with the Department of Forest and Fire Management said the residents evacuated Friday had not yet been allowed to return home Tuesday afternoon and the fire was 0% contained. The department posted an update later Tuesday saying residents evacuated from Bisbee's Locklin Avenue and Wood Canyon areas were allowed to return home and remain on SET mode, the official step before evacuation. The department says the fire has burned around 58 acres so far.

Pauken says there’s no official word yet on the Locklin Fire’s cause but said severe drought and wind are creating what he calls the perfect storm. The fire is the latest of a handful that have occurred in Cochise County so far this year. 

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