Full Coverage

 Monument Fire increases flood risk to nearby areas

3 years ago

Monument Fire affecting Tombstone water

COCHISE COUNTY - The Monument Fire was miles away from Tombstone, but it's still taking its toll on the town's water supply.

Tombstone's main water source are springs bubbling up in Miller Canyon, but the recent flooding after the fire has messed it all up.

Jack Wright, Tombstone's Water Operator said, "It's moved some boulders through here. You have seen caverns that didn't exist. This was a drivable road a month ago."

City worker Michael Kern said, "It's a mess man. I didn't even imagine it to be half this bad."

Miles of pipe survived but those pipes are just part of their old system. The crucial catch basins didn't make it. Wright said, "I can't even show you exactly where that catch basin was because the area is unrecognizable to me because it's all changed from the flooding."

As of right now Tombstone still has water thanks to some wells, but they said they're just not enough. Kern said, "Our wells can keep up but if we had a major fire or something in town that could drain our water supply really fast."

Because of that risk, workers said they're not going to let Mother Nature beat them, but fixing the mess won't be easy.

Wright said, "It's do-able. To think they did it in 1880 and did it all by hand, I guess we can find a way to put it back."

City works said they're confident they can get in here, get everything cleaned up, and build new water basins but they're going to have to wait because the flooding probably isn't done. They said if they do any work the next flood will likely wash it all away.

3 years ago

Disaster center opens in Sierra Vista

SIERRA VISTA - Less than a week after federal aid was approved for victims of the Monument Fire the disaster center, in Sierra Vista, opened for business Tuesday.

When you think of federal aid most people think about FEMA and free money, but the Monument Fire wasn't big enough for that so the U.S. Small Business Administration or SBA stepped in.

William Koontz is the public information officer for the SBA. He said, "It's very common for there to be a disaster in the U.S. but it's too small to be declared by FEMA but large enough for the SBA to declare it."

The SBA specializes in disaster loans. It's not free money but Koontz said it can still be a big help. He said, "Taking on a debt in these economic times is nothing to do lightly but for some people it's the only way they can get the cash they need to rebuild. There's no other avenue or opportunity available."

He said it's likely the only option because banks work on collateral and when a home is destroyed, so is the collateral. On top of that the SBA said the interest rate isn't too bad either.

Koontz said, "A lot of people here me say 2.688% and they say I'd like more than I can get. It's a very very attractive rate."

Sheri Rice is the owner of the Lone Star Café. She went to the disaster center Tuesday morning to see what it's all about this morning because she said even though her place was spared she still lost a lot.

Rice said, "I had lost income for about 15 days when I was closed. Then my people's wages, clean up, and spoilage with the food I threw out."

She said she doesn't know what she'll get out of it yet, she's just happy they're here. Rice said, "I think it's a good thing. A lot of people lost a lot...mostly income. I think it's a good thing that someone is helping out."

Rice said after her meeting she will definitely be telling people about the assistance because she said it's not a matter of if they need the assistance, it's if they actually know about it.

The disaster center will be open at the Cochise County Service Center until July 28th, but you can apply for a loan, over the phone or online, until September 9th.

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3 years ago

Monument Fire increases flood risk to nearby areas

SIERRA VISTA - Incident officials are advising those near the Monument Fire to be aware of the increased risks of flood and mudflow on their properties.

"Large-scale wildfires can alter the landscape and ground conditions, which increases the risk of flooding within the burn and downstream areas," incident officials state.

Rainfall can cause fire debris, mud and silt to accumulate into a heavy, "cement-like" substance, which can potentially damage property.

Local government officials have copies of current flood hazard maps, issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. A 2008 flood map for Sierra Vista is available from FEMA.gov.

For more information on flood risks in your area, check out this brochure (.PDF) from the National Flood Insurance Program, and visit FloodSmart.gov for more flood risk information.

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3 years ago

Fire near Sierra Vista 98 percent contained

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (AP) - Fire crews have the Monument Fire just outside Sierra Vista now 98 percent contained.

The blaze has burned 30,526 acres or 47 square miles since it began on June 12.

The cause of the fire still is under investigation.

Crews say fire line rehabilitation is nearly complete with the fire perimeter continually patrolled for possible hot spots.

Chipping of the cut trees in Coronado National Memorial and in Carr Canyon continues through the holiday weekend.

3 years ago

Dinner event in Tucson to benefit Monument Fire victims

TUCSON - A special dinner hosted by a local plastic surgeon will benefit Real Wishes, an organization providing help to victims of the Monument Fire.

"The Sierra Vista community is an integral part of the southern Arizona economy," said Dr. Christopher T. Maloney, Jr., continuing,"I urge everyone to join us in supporting Real Wishes to help the victims of the Monument Fire. Every penny collected will go directly to the Sierra Vista community. Together we can make a difference."

The benefit will be held at Fleming's Steak House, 6360 N. Campbell Ave., on Friday, July 8, from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., with 100 percent of proceeds going to benefit the victims of the Monument Fire.

Seating is limited, and individual and corporate sponsorships are available. To RVSP, call Lindsay at 520-298-2330 or lmoss@acssurgeons.com.

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3 years ago

Fifty Chiricahua Leopard Frogs salvaged from Monument Fire

HEREFORD - A successful effort to save threatened Chiricahua leopard frogs.

Monday night, Abigail King of the Arizona Game and Fish Department salvaging a threatened Chiricahua leopard frog from a pond at Beatty's Guest Ranch in Miller Canyon, burned by the Monument Fire.

AGFD and the U.S. Forest Service say they netted more than 50 of the frogs, listed as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act, as well as about 60 of their tadpoles. They were placed in aerated coolers and are being transported Tuesday to Glendale Community College.

The south face of Miller Canyon above the ranch is severely burned, and sediment flows into the pond are likely when monsoon rains start.

The owners of the ranch, an official Safe Harbor site for the frogs for more than ten years, requested assistance. The pond is a source population for introduction of the frogs elsewhere. The captured frogs will be returned to the pond once the threat to their habitat has passed.

Photos provided by Bob Herrmann.

3 years ago

Border Patrol: Agent spotted fire near border

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (AP) - The Border Patrol says one of its agents had spotted a wildfire in southern Arizona as the blaze near the U.S.-Mexico border was beginning to grow.

Border Patrol spokesman Steve Adkinson says the agent who reported the fire wanted to extinguish it but realized it was too big to fight.

The Border Patrol's statement comes after Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever said he believes immigrants started the 47-square-mile Monument Fire near Sierra Vista, Ariz.

Dever had said a border agent had been pursuing a group of illegal immigrants nearby when the fire broke out on June 12.

Adkinson says the agent wasn't pursuing immigrants but was instead looking for footprints and other signs of illegal border-crossers.

Investigators declined to say whether the human-caused fire was started by immigrants.

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3 years ago

Pizza Feast planned for the Monument Firefighters

SIERRA VISTA - The Sierra Vista community is having a 'Pizza Feast' for the Monument Firefighters.

The feast will be held Tuesday, June 28th at the Valley View Elementary School, 6849 E. Highway 92, Hereford.

They plan to serve more than 300 people and could still use more pizzas.

The deadline to order is 8pm Monday.

For more information you can contact the coordinator: Kristi Saathoff 520-378-6865.

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3 years ago

More improvement in fight against Monument fire

SIERRA VISTA - The fight against the Monument fire continues to improve. As of Saturday afternoon, it is 64% contained.

Last night, all evacuation orders had been lifted and residents were allowed to return to their homes.

The fire has burned 29,746 acres. Another information meeting is scheduled for Saturday evening at 6:00 at Buena High School.

News 4 Tucson will have a crew inside and will bring you the latest.

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3 years ago

Victims Assistance Center opens for Monument Fire victims

SIERRA VISTA - Victims of the Monument and Horseshoe 2 Fires are getting help from agencies throughout the State of Arizona.

The Victims Assistance is up and running in Sierra Vista.

Dan Porth said individuals whose or property were damaged or impacted by the fires should consider getting help as they recover.

Jessica Nuding owned Nick's Place that burned in the fire, she said the Victims Assistance program may be what she needs, "I have a little hope that I can rebuild because the fire devastated me. Everything is gone and I have nothing, I haven't known where to turn or what to do. This whole week has been overwhelming."

The service will be available in Cochise County Saturday, June 25 and the week of June 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at 4001 E. Foothills Drive in Sierra Vista.

3 years ago

Southwest Gas completes final pass in Sierra Vista

SIERRA VISTA - Southwest Gas has completed its final pass to restore service to Sierra Vista customers.

The company says that door tags have been left at the remaining homes where no one was present during their final pass; those customers can call 1-800-722-4277 when they return home to have a service technician come by to restore service.

An adult over 18 must be present, or other arrangements can be made. Visit the Southwest Gas website for more details:

http://www.swgas.com/

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3 years ago

Much-needed donations arrive in Sierra Vista

SIERRA VISTA - Truckloads of donations have arrived at the Real Wishes Foundation in Sierra Vista - all items will go to firefighters and victims of the Monument and Horseshoe 2 Fires.

Donations from throughout Cochise County, Arizona and the nation were brought to the Real Wishes Foundation, a massive collection of water bottles, snacks, clothing, and other items - all of which will stay in Sierra Vista and surrounding areas, and will go to firefighters still fighting the Monument and Horseshoe 2 fires, as well as victims of both.

News 4 Tucson's Lorraine Rivera was there, and she snapped these photos of some of the donations being unloaded, include a massive stockpile sent from Tucson-based disaster relief organization World Care.

Stay tuned to News 4 Tucson this evening for the full story, and for more on donating items in Tucson for wildfire relief, visit:

http://www.worldcare.org/

3 years ago

Progress continues on containing the Monument Fire

SIERRA VISTA - Progress continues on the containment of the Monument Fire - night shift crews continued working on improving the fire line holding back the blaze, performing controlled burns in the areas west of the evacuated neighborhoods.

As of the latest update, a crew of about 1,170 has the 29,065-acre blaze 59 percent contained.

Today, crews will continue to construct and reinforce the line between the Garden and Monument Fires, while hot shot crews and air support continue to keep the fire from spreading into Ramsey Canyon. A direct line will be constructed from the campgrounds to Carr Peak, according to incident officials.

Crews held the southwest side of the fire in check on the ridge between Blind and Ida Canyons with retardant, hardline and burn out operations.

The next scheduled information meeting will be held tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Buena High School, 5225 Buena School Blvd. in Sierra Vista.

3 years ago

Assistance center opening for fire evacuees

Sierra Vista- This morning, fire evacuees will have some help getting back on their feet.
An Individual Assistance Service Center opens at 10 a.m. at Cochise County Foothills Complex, 4001 E. Foothills Drive, in Sierra Vista.
The center will serve as a centralized location for affected residents who were evacuated because of the Monument and Horseshow Two fires to receive information aiding their personal recovery from the fire. The IASC will also be open Saturday June 25th from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Monday June 27th through Saturday July 2, 2011.
Residents can call the center at 520-221-0160.

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3 years ago

Monument Fire now exceeds 29,000 acres

SIERRA VISTA - According to the Incident Management Team the Monument Fire is now 29,065 acres and 59% contained.

There are 1,176 people assigned to the fire, including 26 crews, 86 engines, 7 helicopters, 1 single-engine air tanker, 2 heavy air tankers, and 2 dozers.

The IMT says that today, crews continued to construct, reinforce, and secure the line between the Garden and Monument fires. At the upper end of Carr Canyon, "hot shot" hand crews, with close air support, are constructing hand line to keep the fire from spreading north into Ramsey Canyon. Night operations will focus on line improvement and mop up, while continuing to burn out areas west of the evacuated neighborhoods to strengthen control lines in the Carr Canyon and Garden Canyon road areas. Engines will continue to patrol and mop up hot spots.

Crews from Fort Huachuca constructed and improved lines to reduce fuels along the Garden Canyon Road and elsewhere on base. Tonight they will burn out a protective strip near Garden Canyon with assistance from Monument Fire crews. On the southwest perimeter, crews held the fire in check on the ridge between Blind and Ida canyons using retardant, hand line, and burn out.

The IMT says within the next 12 hours, limited fire movement is expected down Carr Canyon.

Evacuations have been lifted except for the area west of State Road 92 south of Ramsey Road and north of White Lily, which includes 316 homes. State Road 92 was reopened at noon today with a 45-mph speed limit. No permits are needed for residents returning to their homes in the reopened area.

Of the fire's total acreage, 15,265 are within the Coronado National Forest, 8,077 on private land, 4,843 at the Coronado National Memorial, 198 on Bureau of Land Management public lands, 487 on State Trust lands, and 195 within Fort Huachuca. The fire has also burned 1,527 acres in Mexico, in addition to the 29,065 acres in Arizona.

3 years ago

Fort Huachuca braces for Monument Fire to spread

SIERRA VISTA - The Monument Fire nearing 50 percent containment but the flames on the south side of the Huachuca Mountains getting dangerously close to this military installation.

So how close is it? Colonel Timothy Faulkner said, "As a crow flies it's about 3 1/2 miles away from the installation."

And that's much too close for comfort for Brigadier General Gregg Potter, "Fires are common we have fires on the installation all the time but never on this scale, they've always been contained in a very short period of time," he said.

Just last week the Antelope Fire charred more than 4,400 acres in less than a day. And this time, like any other the post is prepared.

Colonel Faulkner explained, "We are making a buffer all around the huachuca mountains that separate the installation, the buildings and housing from the mountain side." He also said Fort Huachuca averages four to six fires a year. The post is actually stopping some training operations right now so soldiers can help clear out dead brush. He said, "Because the conditions are so extreme we've stopped range operations because we don't want to take chances of starting a fire."

In the last six days more than 500 soldiers have worked round the clock to make sure if a fire started on post it would not spread.
also on the fort at Libby Airfield air tankers stand by ready to drop retardant.

All this in an effort to keep the post and the people on it safe. Brigadier General Potter stressed, "This is still very dangerous situation and to be prepared in the event they need to evacuate but we're planning in case it does."

The threat of the wildfire reaching Fort Huachuca so real there's a battalion that just came back from Iraq, they didn't take a break and went straight to keeping this fire from spreading.

There are currently 1,300 post personnel impacted by the Monument Fire evacuations.

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3 years ago

Center to help wildfire victims pick up the pieces

SIERRA VISTA - As evacuation orders are lifted and residents begin to see the full scope of destruction left by the Monument and Horseshoe 2 Fires, many are left with nothing but pieces to pick up, and a long road to recovery.

To assist those who have lost their residence and property to a wildfire in Cochise County, the Arizona Division of Emergency Management is opening an Individual Assistance Service Center in Sierra Vista.

"Its mission: to help the uninsured and underinsured who lost primary residences or personal property due to the Monument Fire," according to a release from the Cochise County Sheriff's Office.

"The state is committed to helping people impacted by the Monument Fire return to their normal lives," Assistant Director of Recovery Wendy Smith-Reeve said. "The assistance center offers a place for residents to begin to find solutions to their personal and family recovery."

The center opens tomorrow morning at 10 a.m., at the Cochise County Foothills Complex, 4001 E. Foothills Drive, in Sierra Vista. The center will be open Friday, Saturday, then Monday through Saturday, July 2. Residents can call the center at (520) 221-0160.

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3 years ago

World Care to collect donations for Monument Fire victims

TUCSON - Tucson-based World Care has started collecting supplies for victims of the Monument Fire at Whole Foods Stores.
The donation drive goes through Sunday, June 26th, at both of the Whole Food Store locations in Tucson.

There is a Whole Foods located at 3360 E. Speedway, and 7133 N. Oracle Rd.

Here is what World Care is asking you to donate:

Food (in date and not expiring for
3 months)
Canned goods
Canned meats
Dry goods
Coffee, teas
Instant protein drinks, formulas Powdered
Milk
Dry cereals
Paper and plastic plates, utensils,
Glasses, coffee cups
Hygiene
Bath and hand towels, wash
cloths
Toothpaste
Toothbrush
Shampoo
Nail clippers
Razors
Feminine hygiene products
Diapers - adult and baby
Shaving cream
Bar soap
Hand sanitizers
Deodorants

Monetary donations are also being accepted.

To learn more on how to help click here

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3 years ago

American and Mexican firefighters working together

SIERRA VISTA - A handcrew from Big Bend National P Ark in Texas is seen here preparing fuel line. This crew is made up of members from United States agencies and incident response members from Mexico.

News 4 Tucson's Lupita Murillo is spending the day on the front lines of the Monument Fire with these dedicated firefighters - she'll bring you a full report on News 4 Tucson this evening.

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3 years ago

Ramsey Canyon burnout continues today

SIERRA VISTA - News 4 Tucson's Lupita Murillo is at Ramsey Canyon as firefighters there are performing burn out operations to keep the Monument Fire from spreading closer to nearby residential areas.

She'll have a full report on News 4 Tucson this evening.

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3 years ago

World Care sends $78k in supplies to Sierra Vista

TUCSON - News 4 photojournalist Kean Bauman stopped by local disaster relief organization World Care to see what supplies were being sent to Sierra Vista today.

Today, the group is sending 19 pallets, or 7.8 tons, or $76,000 of resources to firefighters, evacuees, and other victims of the Monument Fire and Horsehose 2 Fire.

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3 years ago

Concert tonight to aid victims of Southern Arizona wildfires

TUCSON - Wednesday night five bands will come together for a benefit concert. All money raised during the event will go directly to the Sierra Vista Fire Department to help those affected by the fires.

The concert runs from 4:00pm - 11:30pm, Thursday, June 23, at The C-Note, 1302 W. Roger Rd.

Starting off the show will be the Bryan Dean Trio from 4 until 5pm, and then at 5:30 Cinder Bridge takes the stage. At 7pm, Savage Zoo will perform, followed by AZ Bay Outriders at 8:30.

The Dave Owens Band is set to hit the state from 10:00 to 11:00pm.

In conjunction with the concert, there will be a drive-thru donation drive outside the C-Note. Look for the classic Chevy truck flying an American flag.

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3 years ago

Many residents around Monument Fire allowed back home

SIERRA VISTA - Many evacuations have been lifted and some roads around the Monument Fire have been opened, incident officials say.

All areas east and north of State Route 92 are open to residents, and all areas west of 92 from Hunter Canyon to Coronado Memorial Road are open, but require a re-entry permit. This area includes the Three Canyons and Wild Horse neighborhoods.

Yesterday, re-entry permits were being issued for residents north of Hunter Canyon to White Lily, on the west side of SR92. Nicksville is open to residents, but requires an escort by the Sheriff's office.

Re-entry permits can be obtained at: Palominas Fire Department Station 195 at Kings Ranch Rd and SR92 (10202 E. Hwy 92). For more information, call the Sheriff's Office at (520) 432-9500.

A fire information meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight at Buena High School, 5225 Buena School Blvd. in Sierra Vista. Fire information bulletin boards are set up at the High School, food court at the Sierra Vista Mall, & Windemere Hotel. Fact sheets and maps are posted throughout Sierra Vista, Bisbee, Palominas, and Huachuca City

3 years ago

Bisbee fire evacuation shelter closes

SIERRA VISTA - The Bisbee shelter for Monument Fire evacuees has closed and been consolidated with the Buena High School shelter in Sierra Vista.

Red Cross officials tell News 4 about 2 dozen people used the shelter at Buena Wednesday night.

3 years ago

Today a 'key day' in Monument Fire suppression

SIERRA VISTA - Incident officials at the Monument Fire say today "is considered a key day in suppression operations."

About 1,311 people are currently assigned to fight the 28,236-acre Monument Fire, which is now 59 percent contained.

Last night, crews continued aggressive burnout operations to widen the line north of Ramsey Canyon Road to the southern edge of the contained Garden Fire, which will reduce the risk of the Monument Fire spreading to residences in the area.

Bolstered by the successes of yesterday, and the favorable weather conditions, crews also hope to continue burnout operations along the southwestern side of the fire, with the help of aerial ignition. These firing operations are effective at minimizing the threat to residents, officials say.

3 years ago

Monument Fire Meeting Thursday night

TUCSON -You can get the very latest information on the Monument Fire at a community meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight.

The meeting will be held at the Buena Performing Arts Center at 5225 Buena School Blvd. in Sierra Vista.

Fire information bulletin boards have also been set up at the Incident Command Center at Valley View Elementary, the food court at the Sierra Vista Mall, and the Jumping Jack convenience store on Highway 92 in Palominas.

For up-to-date evacuation information, you can call the fire's Joint Information Center at 1-800-288-3861.

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3 years ago

Tucson answers the call for help

Tucson- While progress is being made on the devastating Monument fire, the call for help is still out there.
There are a couple ways you can contribute to the fire victims.
At 11 this morning, the World Care Civilian Emergency Relief Center of Tucson will start loading a truck with supplies. It will then head to Sierra Vista.
They are looking for food, hygiene and pet supplies.
Also today, there will be a concert to help the victims of all the southern Arizona fires.
It starts at 4:00 this afternoon at the C-Note, 1302 West Roger Road.It will go until 11:30 tonight. You can also make donations at the concert.

3 years ago

Monument Fire is now 59% contained

SIERRA VISTA - The Monument fire is now 59% contained according to the Incident Management Team. It has burned 28,236 acres and damaged or destroyed 57 homes, 42 outbuildings, 5 vehicles and 6 businesses. Crews say the controlled burning is helping the situation and will continue to try and safely burn fire fuel.

3 years ago

Latest evacuation info around Monument Fire

SIERRA VISTA - Evacuation zones around the Ramsey Canyon burnout effort have been expanded by the Cochise County Sheriff's Office.

Everyone on the west side of the following roadways is now considered an evacuation zone:

Ramsey Canyon Road west to Cherokee Avenue / north to Kachina Trail / west to Fort Huachuca

The evacuations west of Highway 92 between Ramsey Canyon Road and White Lily Lane remain in effect.

All areas east and north of State Route 92 are still open to residents, although SR92 itself is closed between Ramsey Road and Coronado memorial Road for use by emergency personnel. Residnts can use alternate access routes to get their homes.

Nicksville is open to residents only, and requires an escort by the Sheriff's Office. An escort can be arranged by calling 432-9500.

New Frontier Animal Shelter and other shelters are asking for people who have been able to return to their homes to pick up their pets as soon as possible. Space is limited in each shelter area and the animals are starting to show signs of stress.

The evacuation shelters at Apache Middle School and Bisbee High School have closed and merged with the Bunea High School Shelter, which is being run by the City of Sierra Vista and the Red Cross. For more information on this shelter, call 520-318-6740.

3 years ago

Couple steals relief items from Monument Fire evac. center

SIERRA VISTA - Two criminal incidents yesterday related to the Monument Fire were reported by Sierra Vista Police Department.

At 2:55 p.m. yesterday, Charles E. Fisher was arrested for Failure to Comply with a Police Officer, stemming from an incident on June 17 during the fire emergency near Buffalo Soldier Trail and Coronado. He has since been cited and released, SVPD officials say.

At 5:10 p.m., a relief worker at the evacuation center at Apache Middle School reported a theft. A couple signed into the evacuation center, claiming to be victims of the Monument Fire, and took items intended for displaced residents. The suspects are known, and the cast remains open pending contact with them.

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3 years ago

Southwest Gas restoring service in Sierra Vista

SIERRA VISTA - Southwest Gas has begun service restoration to Sierra Vista customers in the area bordered by Ramsey Road on the north, Hereford Road on the south, Hwy 92 on the west, and South Calle Lima on the east. Approximately 250 customers have been without service due to the Monument Fire.

Southwest Gas personnel from other communities are assisting their Sierra Vista technicians in this effort so that service may be restored as quickly as possible.

Customers do not need to call in to request service. However, if the customer is not home when the technician makes the first attempt, a door tag will be left with a phone number for the customer to call anytime, day or night, once the customer has returned.

A map of the affected area may be viewed on the Southwest Gas web site, www.swgas.com.

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3 years ago

Burnout ops around Monument Fire continue today

SIERRA VISTA - Yesterday's burnout operations successfully widened the fire line north of Ramsey Canyon Road, helping to keep the Monument Fire out of the path of residences in the area.

The Monument Fire is currently at 27,200 acres, and a crew of 1,189 people have the blaze 45 percent contained.

Today, crews will be conducting additional burnout operations between Ramsey Canyon and the southern edge of the contained Garden Fire, and other crews will be burning out along the southwestern side of the fire, north of Forest Road 61 in the Blind Canyon area.

Smoke and flames may be visible near Sierra Vista, but these will be controlled burned in favorable conditions, incident officials say. Winds are expected to be mild today, but temperatures will be high and relative humidity will be low, officials say.

For the latest information on the Monument Fire, you can call the Joint Information Center at: (800) 288-3861.

In addition to tonight's community meeting at 6 p.m., there is a Walk-In Information Center at the Windemere Hotel Conference Center from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. today.

For evacuation information, contact the Cochise County Sheriff at: (520) 432-9500

3 years ago

Monument Fire Meeting Wednesday night

SIERRA VISTA - You can get the very latest community information on the Monument Fire at a fire information meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight.

The meeting will be held at the Buena Performing Arts Center at 5225 Buena School Blvd. in Sierra Vista.

Fire information bulletin boards have also been set up at the Incident Command Center at Valley View Elementary, the food court at the Sierra Vista Mall, and the Jumping Jack convenience store on Highway 92 in Palominas.

Though the process for getting people back in their evacuated homes has begun, a new round of evacuations is in place as firefighters take the offensive and perform burnout operations in the Ramsey Canyon area.

For up-to-date evacuation information, you can call the fire's Joint Information Center at 1-800-288-3861.

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3 years ago

Cochise Sherriff's Office announces additional roads opened

SIERRA VISTA - The Cochise County Sherriff's Office has announced that residents of the following streets can get reentry permits: Baumkirchner, Brushy Oak, Green Oak, Lower Stump, Spring, Stump Canyon, Trails End and Turkey Track. People who live on those roads can go to the Palominas Fire Station until 9 PM tonight and from noon to 9 PM on Wednesday to get entry permits. Access to this area will be from the east on Highway 92.

3 years ago

Red Cross closes shelter at Apache Middle School

SIERRA VISTA - American Red Cross continues to operate disaster shelters at Buena High School in Sierra Vista and at Bisbee High School in Bisbee. Red Cross has closed the shelter at Apache Middle School. Families impacted by the fire who need meals, a place to stay and mental health support should go to one of these locations.

Beginning Wednesday, Red Cross will accompany officials going out to verify homes that were impacted by the fire. Based on these verifications, Red Cross will begin to process and soon distribute Client Assistance Cards to families whose homes were destroyed or damaged so severely that families cannot return to stay there. Red Cross also will provide clean up kits for families when they are able to return to their homes that were damaged.

Red Cross continues to provide mental health counseling for the families who have lost their homes to the Monument Fire and to hundreds of other families who have been evacuated from their homes as the fire continues to burn.

Wells Fargo Bank donated $10,000 to Red Cross this week and is challenging other business to follow their lead with gifts of any size.
The Southern Arizona American Red Cross Chapter thanks the hundreds of individuals and local business who have made financial donations.

Red Cross needs financial donations only and is grateful for the community's generous support:

Donors can help victims of the Cochise County Wildfires and other disasters by:
1. Donating on-line at redcrossarizona.org
2. Calling 1-800 -341-6943 or
3. Sending checks to American Red Cross, 2916 E. Broadway Blvd. Tucson, AZ 85716

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3 years ago

Donated truck, food, water and clothes helping firefighters, evacuees

SIERRA VISTA - The City of Douglas has generously donated use of a refrigerated truck to the firefighters on the front lines of the Monument Fire.

Thanks to donations from Douglas residents and City of Douglas employees, the truck was also stocked with water, Gatorade, snacks, t-shirts, and socks for firefighters and shelters in need, city officials say.

According to incident officials, a "rehab center" has been established for off-duty firefighters to relax and refresh between shifts, donations made by Douglas residents and employees are going to this center.

Donations can still be made to any Douglas Fire Department station, and the Douglas firefighters will deliver them to Sierra Vista as they come in, city officials say.

3 years ago

Fort Huachuca personnel to assist with controlled burn

FORT HUACHUCA - Personnel at the Fort Huachuca Army Base will be assisting the National Incident Management Team in performing a controlled burn around the Monument Fire over the next three days.

According to a release from the base, burnout operations will create a "catcher's mitt" in front of the potential path of the wildfire, burning toward Ramsey Canyon.

Fort Huachuca personnel will focus on protection first, deliberately creating low-impact fire that will remove excess fuels before fire can reach them, base officials say.

Tonight, crews will be burning around the mouth of Ramsey Canyon, on the north and south sides of the road. Tomorrow, crews will move to Brown Canyon, concentrating on an established burnout in the lower areas there. On Thursday, crews will move to Scheelite canyon, depending on the fire behavior. Finally, on Friday, crews will work to remove fuels from Garden Canyon, officials say.

Each phase will be completely evaluated and analyzed before moving on to the next one.

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3 years ago

2 new maps show evac. areas and Monument Fire growth

SIERRA VISTA - Two new maps released by officials offer new and detailed information on the Monument Fire and its effect on the surrounding areas.

The latest evacuation map, released today by the City of Sierra Vista, clearly shows the current evacuation and pre-evacuation areas. An area bounded by Kachina Rd on the north, Ramsey Canyon Rd. on the south, Highway 92 on the east and Ft. Huachuca to the south has been ordered to evacuate so that crews may perform a controlled burn in Ramsey Canyon.

Pre-evacuation order have been issued for Sierra Vista residents from Ramsey Road to the south, as far north as Highway 90 in some areas. Check the map for an accurate depiction of the pre-evacuation and evacuation areas.

Another map, released today by incident commanders, shows an accurate progression of the Monument Fire from June 12 onward, showing each day of growth as a different color.

3 years ago

Free vital document replacement offered by Cochise County

COCHISE COUNTY - The Cochise County Office of Vital Records is offering to replace, for free, any Arizona birth or death certificates lost in the Monument Fire.

Officials can replace any birth certificates from the years 1989 to present, and any death certificates from the years 2008 to 2011 at either of the these two locations:

Cochise County Office of Vital Records

4115 E. Foothills Dr.

Sierra Vista, AZ 85635

Phone: (520) 803-3925

or:

Cochise County Office of Vital Records

1415 Melody Lane, Bldg. A

Bisbee, AZ 85603

Phone: (520) 432-9402

For information on how to apply for replacement documents, visit:

http://www.cochise.az.gov/vitalrecords, or call one of the two offices listed above.

For records of birth or death outside the dates listed above, contact the State Office of Vital Records, which will also replace these records for free.

Visit the following web address, or call one of the phone numbers listed below, for information on obtaining records from the state office:

http://www.azdhs.gov/vitalrcd

State Office of Vital Records (mailing address)

P.O. Box 3887

Phoenix, AZ 85030

Phone: (602) 364-130

State Office of Vital Records (street address)

1818 W. Adams St.

Phoenix, AZ 85007

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3 years ago

Tour of Monument Fire aftermath shows destruction

HEREFORD - News 4 Tucson's Lorraine Rivera toured an area evacuated by the Monument Fire to see the damage and destruction left in its wake.

To date, an estimated 58 homes, 4 businesses and 14 outbuildings have been damaged or destroyed by the Monument Fire.

Check out the video and pictures above to see the aftermath of the Monument Fire. We'll have more video and information from the evacuated area tour on News 4 Tucson this evening.

Residents of the following streets and areas are now allowed back into their homes:

Andalusian /Arab /Big Oak/Big Spur/Black Bear Oak/Blue Oak/Bryerly/Bull Rope/Bunkhouse
Calle Cola Blanca/Cool Oaks Road/Covey Run/Darley/Elohyna/East Indigo Sky Road
East Thompson Park Road/Fairfield/Grand Oak/Hackney/Herder/Heritage Oak/Hickory
Hidden Oak/Hunter Creek/Kinjockity/La Pradera/Lippizan/Mighty Oak/Molly/Morgan/Mule
Oak/Oakridge/Palisades/Paseo Venado/Polo/Red Oak/Roaring Oak/Roberto/Ruby/Saddlehorn
School House/Seven Oaks/Sexton/Shire/Silver Concho/Silver Leaf/Silver Thorne/Sophia/South Rock Ridge Road/Stoneridge Road/Sun Quail/Swiss/Three Canyons/Vaquero/Welsh/White Leaf
Wilderness

This area includes:

South of Three Canyons East of Highway 92/Stoneridge South of 92 which includes Thompson Peak, Rockridge Road, and Indigo Sky Road. Prince Placer Road west of Stoneridge will remain closed.

For information on obtaining a permit to return to your home, call the Cochise County Sheriff's Office at: 520-803-3850

3 years ago

Evacuation ordered for planned control burn near Ramsey Canyon

HEREFORD - Due to a planned controlled burn this evening, a mandatory evacuation has been ordered for the area west of Highway 92, between Ramsey Canyon Rd. and Kachina Rd.

"This evacuation order is being taken as a precaution for the continuation of burning operations south across Ramsey Canyon and around a number of individual homes this evening," states the evacuation order. "This operation will remove fuel between the fire and your neighborhood as well as greatly reduce the chance of the fire spreading to the east if it should come out of Carr Canyon. Flames and smoke may be visible, but firefighters are controlling this burn under favorable conditions for success."

In a press conference this morning, Sheriff Larry Dever clarified whatt "mandatory evacuation" means:

"Please note, with mandatory evacuation, if you decide to stay, you deciede to stay," he said. "We're not going to drag you out of your house."

Those in the evacuation area should expect heavy smoke and low air quality, which is the reason for this evacuation order.

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3 years ago

Fire was likely started by illegal immigrants, Dever says

HEREFORD - "It wasn't the rabbits or rattlesnakes that started this fire," Sheriff Dever said at the morning press conference, insinuating that the assumed perpetrators are illegal immigrants.

"When this fire started, Montezuma National Monument was closed. The forest around it was closed," Dever said. "So, whoever started the fire was there illegally."

He went on to say that the fire was started very near to a fence at the U.S.-Mexico border, in a known smuggling route for both humans and narcotics.

"Anything is possible, except for lightning," he said. "But it appears to have started right on the fence."

Sheriff Dever said that there is nothing to suggest the fire was caused by anything other than illegal immigrants or some kind of illegal activity from Mexico. He says that there is a "90 to 100 percent" probability that it was started by illegal immigrants.

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3 years ago

Sheriff Dever admits communication issues on Monument Fire

HEREFORD - In a press conference this morning, Larry Dever admitted that the Cochise County Sheriff's Department should have been doing more to get information about the Monument Fire out to the media.

"This is something that, frankly, me, and the sheriff's department should have done several days ago," he said. "Going through some footage late last night, became very clear that we aren't doing a good a job as we could have in getting information to the media."

Sheriff Dever went on to say that: "The drama may be dwindling to some degree."

He says that this evening, firefighters will be performing a controlled burn to keep the Monument Fire from dropping into Ramsey Canyon. He says this burn will cause a lot of smoke, which may drift down into the surrounding communities.

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3 years ago

Monument Fire now 40 pct. contained

SIERRA VISTA - The Monument Fire has grown to 27,190 acres, and is now 40 percent contained by a crew of 1,097 personnel, according to the latest update form incident officials.

Twenty-two crews, including 108 fire engines, 8 helicopters, 10 air tankers and four dozers are fighting the blaze burning in the Huachuca Mountains since June 12.

Last night, planned burning operations were carried out from Ft. Huachuca to the south to the north side of Ramsey Canyon, officials say. Today, crews will prepare for continued burning operations south across Ramsey Canyon into the evening. This operation will remove fuel between the fire and the communities to the east.

Weather is expected to be favorable for crews to "herd" the fire over the next few days, which is the best alternative for minimizing damage to wildlife habitat, officials say. Some evacuations have been lifted, so motorists should be prepared for increased traffic in the area of the fire.

Another information meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight at the Buena Performing Arts Center at 5225 Buena School Blvd. in Sierra Vista. Information bulletin boards are set up in the following areas: evacuation centers, the food court at the Sierra Vista Mall, and the Windemere Hotel; fact sheets are maps are posted throughout Sierra Vista, Bisbee, Palominas, and Huachuca City. For up-to-date evacuation information, please call the Joint Information Center at 1-800-288-3861.

Fire danger remains extreme due to dry conditions, and Coronado National Forest remains closed to all visitors.

Pictured: Firefighters working in the Monument Fire smoke as fire comes out of Miller Canyon near Hereford Rd. Credit: Northern Rockies IMT

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3 years ago

Monument fire now 40 pct. contained

SIERRA VISTA - The Monument fire is now 40% contained and has burned 27,190 acres. There are 1,097 people assigned to the fire, including 22 crews, 108 engines, 9 helicopters, 10 Air Tankers and 4 Dozers.

A fire information meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, June 21, at 6:00 p.m. at the Buena Performing Arts Center at 5225 Buena School Blvd. in Sierra Vista. Fire information bulletin boards are set up at evacuation centers, the food court at the Sierra Vista Mall, and the Windemere Hotel; fact sheets are maps are posted throughout Sierra Vista, Bisbee, Palominas, and Huachuca City.

For up-to-date evacuation information, please call the Joint Information Center at 1-800-288-3861.

3 years ago

4 businesses and 14 houses damaged or destroyed

COCHISE COUNTY - According to the Cochise County Sheriff's department 4 businesses and 14 more houses have been damaged or destroyed by the Monument fire. Local residents affected by the losses will be notified by the Cochise County Sheriff's Office.

Damage to date: 58 homes, 4 businesses and 14 outbuildings.

3 years ago

Gov. Brewer deploys Nat'l Guard to Monument Fire

PHOENIX - At the request of Cochise County officials and local incident commanders, Governor Jan Brewer has deployed about 90 members of the Arizona National Guard to assist in Monument Fire operations.

The service members, based out of Tucson's 860th Military Police Company, will provide area security to evacuated areas, as directed by local law enforcement. Additional National Guard forces are ready to deploy for additional assistance if needed.

"The Monument Fire continues to draw a massive response from federal, state and local authorities," said Governor Brewer. "I've deployed these National Guard members to assist with the effort, and won't hesitate to authorize additional manpower if necessary."

3 years ago

Dozens of Monument Fire evacuees allowed back home

SIERRA VISTA - Beginning today at 3 p.m., dozens of residents evacuated by the Monument Fire are now allowed back into their homes.

According to Cochise County Sheriff's Office's Carol Capas, residents must report to the Palominas Fire Station at 9695 E. Highway 92 between 3:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. today and between noon and 9:00 p.m. tomorrow to verify their address and sign for their re-entry permit before going home. Permit specifics will be explained at the Palominas Fire Department.

Residents of the following streets and areas are now allowed back into their homes:

Andalusian /Arab /Big Oak/Big Spur/Black Bear Oak/Blue Oak/Bryerly/Bull Rope/Bunkhouse
Calle Cola Blanca/Cool Oaks Road/Covey Run/Darley/Elohyna/East Indigo Sky Road
East Thompson Park Road/Fairfield/Grand Oak/Hackney/Herder/Heritage Oak/Hickory
Hidden Oak/Hunter Creek/Kinjockity/La Pradera/Lippizan/Mighty Oak/Molly/Morgan/Mule
Oak/Oakridge/Palisades/Paseo Venado/Polo/Red Oak/Roaring Oak/Roberto/Ruby/Saddlehorn
School House/Seven Oaks/Sexton/Shire/Silver Concho/Silver Leaf/Silver Thorne/Sophia/South Rock Ridge Road/Stoneridge Road/Sun Quail/Swiss/Three Canyons/Vaquero/Welsh/White Leaf
Wilderness

This area includes:

South of Three Canyons East of Highway 92/Stoneridge South of 92 which includes Thompson Peak, Rockridge Road, and Indigo Sky Road. Prince Placer Road west of Stoneridge will remain closed.

3 years ago

Firefighter 'rehab center' seeking use of ice truck

SIERRA VISTA - A center for firefighters to relax and refresh between shifts of fighting the Monument Fire is in desperate need of refrigerated truck to store water, food and other items. They are looking for someone to donate an ice truck for at least two days. It will be stored in a warehouse.

The rehabilitation center for firefighters is also accepting donations of water bottles, snacks, and other items, which can be dropped off at Fire Station #2 in Sierra Vista, at 4817 South Apache Avenue.

Contact KVOA at 520-624-2477 or newstips@kvoa.com immediately if you can assist with a refrigerated truck.

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3 years ago

Red Cross has online 'Safe and Well' list for Monument victims

SIERRA VISTA - In addition to coordinating evacuation efforts, shelters, monetary donations, and other assistance for those affected by the Monument Fire, the Red Cross of Southern Arizona also has a "safe and well" list.

Evacuees can register themselves on this list so that family members and friends can know for certain that they are safe and out of immediate danger from the Monument Fire.

Concerned family and friends of residents in the affected area can search the list for peace of mind - the results will display the loved one's name a message if they have registered as "Safe and Well."

For a list of all of the Red Cross' efforts, and how you can help, click here. Click here to go directly to the "Safe and Well" list website.

Image courtesy https://safeandwell.communityos.org

3 years ago

Monument community meeting at Buena Performing Arts Center tonight

SIERRA VISTA - You can get the very latest community information on the Monument Fire at a fire information meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. tonight.

The meeting will be held at the Buena Performing Arts Center at 5225 Buena School Blvd. in Sierra Vista.

Fire information bulletin boards have also been set up at the Incident Command Center at Valley View Elementary, the food court at the Sierra Vista Mall, and the Jumping Jack convenience store on Highway 92 in Palominas.

All existing evacuation orders remain in place, and officials are cautioning that those traveling on or along Highway 92 should expect increased traffic and possible closures.

For up-to-date evacuation information, you can call the fire's Joint Information Center at 1-800-288-3861.

3 years ago

Procedure to view damaged property in Ash and Stump Canyons

SIERRA VISTA - A procedure has been established for Ash and Stump Canyon residents who would like to view their property to evaluate damage caused by the Monument Fire.

Residents who live in Ash or Stump Canyon who wish to view their property must make an appointment with the Cochise County Sheriff's Office at 520-803-3850.

A deputy will transport groups of four people to the property address so that residents may take photos of their property and assess damage done by the fire. No personal vehicles will be allowed past the road blocks, officials say.

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3 years ago

Latest animation shows Monument Fire's northward growth

SIERRA VISTA - The latest update from incident commanders shows that the Monument Fire has grown to 26,980 acres, and is currently 27 percent contained.

Updated data from a system which uses the earth's surface temperature to detect fire activity shows that the Monument Fire has spread to the northern part of the Huachuca Mountains.

Using Google Earth and temperature detection from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer, we've created an animation showing the growth of the Monument Fire, along with maps showing the relative size and rough perimeter of the blaze.

The AVHRR can detect surface temperatures to within 1.1 km - each dot on these maps represents a 1.1km fire detection point. The yellow dots were detected within the last 6 days up until the last 24 hours, orange represents the last 12-24 hours, bright red the last 6 to 12 hours, and the dark red fire detections from within the last six hours.

The video above shows the growth of the Monument Fire between the morning of June 14 and this morning - six days of growth.

Using Google Earth and the data available from the U.S. Forest Service, you can track not only the growth and size of a fire, but its detected temperature, weather around the wildfires, official information, and more.

3 years ago

Authorities counting lost homes near Sierra Vista

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (AP) - Authorities say they are trying to determine how many homes and businesses were damaged or destroyed when winds pushed a fire south of Sierra Vista into neighborhoods.

Winds gusts of 50 mph pushed the Monument fire down a mountain and across Highway 92 on Sunday afternoon, forcing 1,700 homes to be evacuated.

Fire spokesman Bill Paxton said Monday that the Cochise County Sheriff's Office was counting the lost structures. He says those with plenty of defensible space had a better chance of surviving.

The fire has now burned 42 square miles or nearly 27,000 acres since it broke out on June 12. At least 44 homes had been lost before Sunday.

Much lighter winds are expected Monday. Paxton says that will allow air tankers to again attack the flames.

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3 years ago

New pre-evac. and evacs around Monument Fire announced

SIERRA VISTA - Pre-evacuations due to the Monument Fire have been ordered for the following areas:

-High Knoll Area

-West of Highway 92: North from Yaqui Street north to Buffalo Soldier Trail and west to Fort Huachuca

-East of Highway 92: North from Camino Principal to Buffalo Soldier Trail and east to Aquaduct Road

As of 9 a.m., mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for the following areas:

-West of Highway 92: Stump Canyon North to Yaqui

-East of Highway 92: Ramsey Road east to Hargis Ranch Road/ Hargis Ranch Road south to Hereford Road/ Hereford Road west to Highway 92

-East of Highway 92: Three Canyons east to Welsh Drive

In addition to evacuation centers at Apache Middle School and Buena High School, Bisbee High School is now also being opened as an evacuation center. Call 520-784-3478 for more information on this center.

3 years ago

Lighter winds to help firefighters on Monument Fire

PHOENIX (AP) - Lighter winds should give firefighters in southern Arizona a break Monday after a weekend in which thousands of residents fled their homes as powerful winds pushed the flames across roads and containment lines and toward populated areas.

The Monument fire just south of the city of Sierra Vista, Ariz., was one of several chewing through dry brush and timber in the Arizona and New Mexico where fire crews have been dogged for days by hot, windy weather.

About 3,000 people from 1,700 homes were evacuated Sunday as the blaze - burning for a week - picked up speed with winds gusted up to 60 mph, Cochise County sheriff's spokeswoman Carol Capas said late Sunday night.

"Winds pushed fire across Highway 92, making (it) run so fast and so hot that the danger to citizens in the path was significant," she told The Associated Press.

The flames raced down a mountain and into a heavily populated area, forcing crews to abandon their lines and set up in new spots.

"The fire crews are doing an amazing job, trying to get in front of it," she said.

Sunday's evacuations brought the total number to about 10,000 people from 4,300 homes forced to flee flames of the Monument fire, she said.

Some residences were destroyed Sunday, adding to the 44 already reported, but fire officials still don't have an exact number, Capas said. Among the destroyed structures was a popular Mexican restaurant. There have been no serious injuries.

She said evacuees have been staying with friends and relatives, at three evacuation shelters, and at local inns.

"This is horrible. This is a nightmare," Debbie Schmidlin told the Arizona Daily Star. She said she was evacuated twice in the past week from homes east and west of Highway 92.

"If this fire gets there, I'm leaving Arizona," she said as she watched from behind police lines two miles north of her home.

Mario Morales, who has a mobile home on land he owns on the east side of 92, was philosophical. "You just gotta accept it," he told the newspaper. "There is no stopping this monster."

Winds had diminished by late Sunday and were projected to reach just 10 mph Monday.

"If that prediction holds, it will be a big benefit for firefighters," she said.

Before the winds spread the flames earlier in the day, the blaze was reported 27 percent contained at about 21,000 acres or nearly 33 square miles.

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3 years ago

Three restaurants destroyed in Monument Fire

COCHISE COUNTY - Patrick Call with the Cochise County Board of Supervisors sent in this photo.

He says it appears Ricardo's, Nick's Place and Angelika's German Imports have been lost to the Monument Fire.

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3 years ago

7pm Monument Fire evacuations

SIERRA VISTA - As of 7pm Sunday, Cochise County Sheriff's Office said mandatory evacuations for the Monument Fire included the area between Stump Canyon and Yaqui on the west side of Highway 92.

East of Highway 92, Ramsey Road east to Hargis Ranch Road is under mandatory evacuation.

Also Hargis Ranch Road south to Hereford Road and Hereford Road west to Highway 92 is under a mandatory evacuation. Also folks between Three Canyons east to Welsh Drive should evacuate.

The area of High Knoll is under a pre-evacuation.

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3 years ago

Update on weather conditions near Monument Fire

SIERRA VISTA - Winds are providing a major challenge at the Monument Fire today.

News 4 Meteorologist Jeff Beamish says current sustained winds near Sierra Vista are over 25 mph. Fort Huachuca recorded a peak wind gust of 49 mph around 2:00 PM this afternoon.

Weather stations around the Sierra Vista area have been recording relative humidities around 10% all day, making for Red Flag conditions.

A Red Flag Warning remains in effect for all of southern Arizona until 8 PM this evening. Eastern Pima, southeast Pinal, Santa Cruz, Cochise, Graham & Greenlee Counties are also under a Wind Advisory until 7 PM this evening.

Stay with News 4 & KVOA.com for the very latest weather developments near the Monument Fire.

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3 years ago

Evacuations ordered on Monument Fire

SIERRA VISTA - The Cochise County Sheriff's Department has ordered evacuations because of the Monument Fire.

The areas that need to be evacuated are: Highway 92 east Ramsey Canyon Road, west of Calla Matate, north to Yaqui. This area is west of Highway 92.

The areas east of Highway 92: Ramsey Road north to Camino Principal, east to Campobello, Ramsey Road to Burrow, and North to Lower Ranch all the way east to San Pedro River.

Stay with News-4 Tucson for further updates

3 years ago

SW Gas shuts off more service near Monument Fire

SIERRA VISTA - An additional 200 customers near the Monument Fire have had their natural gas service shut off because of the fire.

The area is bordered by Ramsey Road on the north, East Calle de la Palmera on the south, South Mesquite Tree Lane on the west, and Calle Lima on the east.

Gas has also been shut off to an undeveloped and unoccupied subdivision immediately to the west of that area, bordered by Ramsey Road on the north, east Calle de la Palmera on the south, Highway 92 on the west, and South Wild Rose Road on the east.

On Thursday, 57 customers had their gas shut off.

Service has been restored to 2,100 customers who were temporarily shut off on Friday because of the Antelope Fire on Ft. Huachuca.

This action is part of a plan Southwest Gas developed to isolate natural gas facilities in stages, in order to protect public safety as the fire progresses.

Stay with News-4 Tucson for further updates.

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3 years ago

Monument Fire evacuation notice update

SIERRA VISTA - The Cochise County Sheriff's Office has updated its evacuation alert for those impacted by the Monument Fire.

Here's the following information:

Reissued a reverse 911 pre-evacuation is going out to Ramsey Canyon north to Yaqui and east to Campobello.

A new pre-evacuation order is being issued for Ramsey Canyon north to lower Ranch, west of Aquaduct, and east to the San Pedro River.

Evacuation orders remain in effect for the area south of Ramsey Road.

Here's the Fire Joint Information Center number - 1-800-288-3861

3 years ago

Monument Fire Information meeting Sunday

TUCSON - Sunday's information meeting for Sierra Vista residents regarding the Monument Fire will be at the Buena Performing Arts Center at 5225 Buena School Blvd. in Sierra Vista. 6 pm this evening. Fire information bulletin boards will be set up at the Incident Command Center at Valley View Elementary, the food court at the Sierra Vista Mall, and the Jumping Jack convenience store on Highway 92 in Palominas.

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3 years ago

Sunday's Monument Fire Forecast

TUCSON - The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for southern Arizona, starting at 10 AM and expiring at 8 PM.

In addition, a Wind Advisory is in effect today for eastern Pima, southeast Pinal, Santa Cruz, Cochise, Graham & Greenlee County. This will go in effect at 12 PM and expiring at 7 PM.

News 4 Meteorologist Jeff Beamish expects sustained west-southwest winds of 20-40 MPH Sunday near the Monument Fire, with gusts exceeding 50 MPH. Smoke from the Monument Fire will be directed toward Bisbee, Tombstone, Pearce & Elfirda.

Strong winds & relative humidity values below 10% elevates the Wildfire Index to a 10 Sunday, which means an extreme fire danger is present.

Stay with News 4 & KVOA.com for the latest developments on the Monument Fire.

3 years ago

Monument Fire now at 20,000 acres

SIERRA VISTA - The Monument Fire burning in the Huachuca Mountains south of Sierra Vista is now at 20,956 acres.

The fire started last Sunday, and is 27 percent contained tonight.

There are 1,061 people assigned to the fire, including 21 crews, 104 engines, and eight helicopters.

Stay with News-4 Tucson for further updates.

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3 years ago

50 mph winds possible near Monument Fire Sunday

TUCSON - The National Weather Service has issued a Wind Advisory for Cochise, Graham & Greenlee Counties. This will be in effect Sunday from 12 PM until 7 PM.

A Red Flag Warning will also be in effect Sunday, from 10 AM until 8 PM for all of southern Arizona.

News 4 Meteorologist Jeff Beamish predicts west-southwest winds up to 50 MPH Sunday near the Monument Fire. Gusty winds combined with low relative humidity & dry fuels will lead to an extreme fire danger.

For that reason, Sunday's Wildfire Index has been set at its highest level, which is a 10.

For a complete look at Jeff's True View 4 extended forecast, visit KVOA.com/weather.

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3 years ago

Monument Fire evacuees find comfort in Sierra Vista shelters

SIERRA VISTA - The Monument Fire burning south of Sierra Vista has forced thousands out of their homes, under mandatory evacuation. Many are staying at hotels or with family and friends, but others are finding comfort in evacuation shelters set up in Sierra Vista.

One evacuation shelter is set up at Buena High School (5225 E Buena School Boulevard). The other is at Apache Middle School (3305 East Fry Boulevard). More than a dozen evacuated residents stayed at each shelter Friday night.

"They slept like a rock but I was kind of restless. I was a little bit worried," said Johnny Wiley, who was evacuated two days ago.

Wiley's first night at the Buena High School evacuation shelter was a tough one.

"Just thinking about all the things going on up there and people's houses being lost," Wiley said.

Wiley had just moved into a house right near the fire line when the evacuations came through. On the verge of losing hope, he found Buena's open doors.

"Before all this stuff happened I thought, there isn't anything but cold hearted people around here but now that this happened and everybody's started coming together, I'm like hey, there is hope," Wiley said.

Over the last few days, the high school-turned-shelter has received mounds of donations.

"That's the benefit of living in a small town. People know each other, they take care of each other," said Red Cross volunteer Tom Arnold.

Arnold has watched the food, water, toiletries and clothing pile up hour after hour. He lives on the mountain and the outpouring of support from and for his neighbors represents the community he has come to know.

"Your neighbors are really concerned. Their houses are saved. And the people who are evacuated, they know what it would be like. So, it's good stuff," Arnold said.

Both shelters still have room tonight if people need a place to stay. They are still in need of towels and bedding (especially pillow cases).

3 years ago

More pre-evacuations for Monument Fire

TUCSON - The Cochise County Sheriff's Department has issued more pre-evacuations area because of the Monument Fire.

East of Highway 92: Highway 92 and Ramsey, east to the river/North to Lower Ranch Road, which includes Camino Principal and Campobello area.

A reverse 911 just went out to over 750 residents in that area advising of the pre-evacuation status.

3 years ago

Monument wildfire now at more than 19,000 acres

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (AP) - Authorities say the wildfire south of Sierra Vista now is nearing 20,000 acres but is 15 percent contained.

The U.S. Forest Service says the Monument Fire that began Sunday has charred 19,335 acres.

There were more mandatory evacuations Friday on the west side of Highway 92 from Stump Canyon, north to Ramsey Canyon Road.

The Cochise County Sheriff's Office says about 3,000 total homes and 12,000 people have been evacuated so far.

About 50 homes south of Sierra Vista have been damaged or destroyed by the flames including seven in the Stump Canyon area.

3 years ago

Fort Huachuca to hold meeting Saturday

TUCSON - Fort Huachaca will hold a town hall at 2pm Saturday afternoon for fort personnel and residents. It will be held at the Murr Community Center.

Attendees will be briefed on the Monument Fire, how the fort is supporting firefighting efforts and how to prepare for an evacuation and recovery efforts.

3 years ago

Monument Fire Meeting Saturday night

TUCSON - Saturday's fire information meeting in Sierra Vista regarding the Monument Fire has moved. Saturday night's meeting will at the Buena Performing Arts Center at 5225 Buena HIgh School Boulevard at 6pm.

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3 years ago

Saturday's Monument Fire Forecast

TUCSON - The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Cochise, Graham and Greenlee Counties. This will start at noon Saturday and expire Saturday night at 7 PM.

For that reason, News 4 Meteorologist Jeff Beamish has set the Wildfire Index at 10 today. This means an extreme fire danger for southern Arizona due to gusty winds, low relative humidity values & the ongoing drought.

Winds today near the Monument Fire in Sierra Vista will be up to 30 MPH out of the west-southwest. Much like yesterday, smoke from the Monument FIre will carry in to Tombstone, Bisbee, Douglas & Pearce.

Daytime highs Saturday will be in the mid 90's for Cochise County, with the relative humidity bottoming out below 10% during the afternoon. Expect humidity values to increase after sunset.

Stay with News 4 and KVOA.com for the very latest on the Monument Fire.

3 years ago

Cochise County residents anxious to return home

COCHISE COUNTY - Some of the earliest evacuees from the Monument Fire near Sierra Vista are now anxious to return home.

Several residents at the community meeting held Friday night asked Cochise County Sheriff's officials when they will be allowed back in. Officials say they will have to assess each home before the residents can return, and their resources are tight right now. They have evacuated around 3,000 homes since this fire began.

They also said that while some structures are in tact, the areas are still unsafe with downed power lines and constant bulldozing and fire trucks in and out of the area.

Ash Canyon resident Mark Gibson said he would feel safer at home, "It's safer there than where I'm at now. I had to almost evacuate today because of the fires today that broke out on Ft. Huachuca. I would rather go home."

The Sheriff's Deputy at the meeting responded, "We've got downed power poles, downed power lines. It just is not safe at this time."

Officials said they made an arrest on Thursday because a resident tried to run past their road block. They are urging residents to stay patient, and said they will contact them when it is safe to return home.

3 years ago

Governor visits Sierra Vista evacuees

Tucson-Governor Brewer went to Sierra Vista Friday, and before meeting with evacuees, she got a chance to see the devastation first hand. "It's quite startling to see the acreage that's burned and the area still burning," she said.

The governor got a bird's eye view of the fire from the air, and was able to see the efforts by the fire fighters. She pointed out these were the worst conditions they could be fighting, but there was also a positive side, "there has been no loss of life with residents or firefighters, for that we are grateful," she said.

Also grateful, are the volunteers who are helping out in the shelters. Mayor Rick Mueller, who was with the governor, acknowledged that. He said he's optimistic, and credits the people of Sierra Vista for coming together.

Evacuees were glad the Governor visited Sierra Vista, and that she was able to see first hand what they're dealing with. Brenda Kramer is helping with evacuation centers. She says, "I think it's great. People need to know she's interested and saw the fire, and know how desperate people are and know how serious this has become."

Gwen Summers and her family, were evacuated, she says, "We were also pleased with the governor's visit. I think it's good, people higher up come and show they are supporting the people and willing to help us."

Governor Brewer also said she has the National Guard on stand-by in case they are needed.

3 years ago

Tough day at the Monument Fire

SIERRA VISTA - A good start for crews working on the Monument Fire on Friday quickly turned out to be a near disaster.

More personnel arrived on scene but conditions continued to get worse, especially when the Antelope fire began just a few blocks away at Ft. Huachuca. Resources from the Monument Fire were diverted in order to get the Antelope fire successfully contained.

The Monument fire was 17% contained Thursday, but when heavy winds tossed the fire over the containment line it decreased to only 15% containment.

From there firefighters had trouble making any more progress.

Helicopters, planes, bulldozers and about 800 firefighters turned out to be no match for the fire's weapons: heat, dry vegetation and wind.

Dale Thompson, a public information officer for the Monument Fire said, "You put all those ingredients together, you get extreme flame leaks, as much as 70, 80, 90, even 100 feet in some places."

And keeping it from getting to the structures has been harder because of the structures themselves.

Thompson said, "We've got residential areas built right up against the forest and up against the national forest area. Without a lot of thinning and field reduction taking place in those areas, it really creates a problem for structure protection."

And when the firefighters have problems, so do the residents with the ever changing road blocks. In some cases, it kept some families apart. One resident expressed her concern about her son because she couldn't get in touch with him after their phones were shut off.

But for others it's not the unknown, it's the destruction that's already been done that people have on their mind. Lilia Carr was brought to tears talking about all the destroyed homes. She said, "They just lost their homes, you know? All their memories, I feel for them. It's hard."

Many questions are left unanswered about homes, but the area that is most at risk Friday is the Miller Canyon area, beyond the northwest side of this fire.

3 years ago

Red Cross seeking financial donations for Monument victims

SIERRA VISTA - At this time, the Red Cross is seeking only financial donations to assist victims of the Cochise County Wildfires.

According to a release from the organization, volunteers are staffing the shelter at Apache Middle School and Buena High School, both of which are expected to be at or near capacity this evening.

Red Cross is also providing mental health counseling to some 46 families who have lost their homes to the Monument Fire, and to hundreds more families who were evacuated as the fire continues to spread.

Donors can make a financial contribution to the Red Cross of Southern Arizona:

1. on-line at redcrossarizona.org
2. by calling 1-800 -341-6943 or
3. by sending checks to American Red Cross, 2916 E. Broadway Blvd.. Tucson, 85716

3 years ago

Still more mandatory evacuations ordered as fire heads north

SIERRA VISTA - As of 2:30 P.M. today more MANDATORY evacuations have been ordered at the following locations:

West side of Highway 92 on Yaqui west to Calle Matate / north to Choctaw Drive / east to Highway 92.

An update from the Cochise County Sheriff's Department confirms that the Monument Fire has spread to Fort Huachuca:

"There is a brush fire now near Range 13 on Fort Huachuca (near the aerostat) on the east side travelling towards site Boston. No structures or people in danger. Fire crews are addressing this fire now. Fort Huachuca golf course is being evacuated for safety concerns."

The Cochise County Sheriff's Department wants to make clear that they are not looking for volunteers of any kind at this time - the public is asked to stay away from the affected area to ensure that everyone is brought to safety in a timely and professional manner.

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3 years ago

Monument Fire spreads to Ft. Huachuca

CORRECTIVE: News 4 has since learned that the fire on Ft. Huachuca is, in fact, a seperate wildfire, now dubbed the Antelope Fire. Base officials had originally confirmed with News 4 crews at the scene that the fire was the Monument Fire - this has since been corrected in proceeding coverage.

FT. HUACHUCA - One of the News 4 Tucson crews in Cochise County confirms that the Monument Fire has now spread to the Ft. Huachuca Army Base.

The fire is currently in the lower Garden Canyon on fort property, according to News 4 photojournalist Kean Bauman. He says the Fort Huachuca Fire Department is responding, and no structures are in danger at this time.

A post on the Fort Huachuca Facebook page reads:

"Due to the immediate emergency situation involving the Monument Fire and its impact on Sierra Vista, Fort Huachuca and surrounding communities, Brig. Gen. Gregg Potter has postponed all 2011 Military Intelligence Hall of Fame activities until a later date. The 305th Military Intelligence Battalion Command change of command will proceed as planned at 7:30 a.m. Friday, June 24"

Base personnel were conducting a training exercise with a controlled fire prior to the Monument Fire spreading to the base, Bauman says.

3 years ago

Another community meeting on Monument tonight at 6 p.m.

SIERRA VISTA - Another community meeting regarding the Monument Fire will be held tonight at the same time and place: 6 p.m. at the Windemere Hotel at 2047 South Highway 92 in Sierra Vista.

According to incident commanders, several bulletin boards posted around the city will provide the latest information, you can find them at: the Incident Command Center at Valley View Elementary, the food court at the Sierra Vista Mall, in Hereford near the Post Office, and Jumping Jack convenience store on Highway 92 in Palominas.

All existing evacuation orders remain in effect. For evacuation information, call the Cochise County Sheriff's Office at:

520-432-9500

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3 years ago

More evacs ordered as Monument comes down Miller Canyon

SIERRA VISTA - Still more mandatory evacuations have been announced by the Cochise County Sheriff's Office:

-East side of Highway 92 on Ramsey Road east to Hargis Ranch Road / south on Hargis Ranch Road to Hereford Road / west on Hereford Road to Highway 92

Officials say the fire is now coming down Miller Canyon, closing in on Highway 92. The fire may potentially cross the road in this area.

The following areas are under pre-evacuation notice:

-East of Highway 92: Ramsey Road north to Camino Principal and east to Campobello
West of Highway 92: Ramsey Canyon Road north to Yaqui Street and west to Calle Matate
And the following areas are still closed and/or under a current evacuation alert:

-Ash Canyon, Hunter Canyon, Stump Canyon (both upper and lower), Turkey Track, will remain closed until further notice.

-Highway 92 closed at Ramsey Road on the north and Palominas Road on the south. All traffic coming from Bisbee to Sierra Vista DO NOT USE Highway 92. All traffic going to Bisbee from Sierra Vista DO NOT USE Highway 92.

-Ramsey Road is closed at Moson Road
-Ramsey Road is closed at Hargis Ranch Road

As of 8:00 a.m today the Cochise County Sheriff's Office is conducting MANDATORY evacuations at the following:

-West side of Highway 92 from Stump Canyon, north to Ramsey Canyon Road.
-East side of Highway 92 from Ramsey Road east to Moson Road / Moson Road south to Hereford Road/ Hereford Road west to Highway 92.

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3 years ago

Gov. Brewer declares state of emergency

PHOENIX - Governor Brewer has declared a state of emergency due to the fires burning in Southern Arizona.

$100,000 of the Governor's Emergency Funds will be released to help pay for emergency responses and recovery expenses for damage resulting from the fires.

The governor's office states that state emergency dollars will not be available to reimburse homeowners for damage from the fires.

The emergency declaration also authorized the mobilization of the Arizona National Guard as necessary to protect life and property, according to a release form the governor's office.

The following is a complete list of actions authorized by the declaration:

a. Declare that a State of Emergency exists in Cochise County due to the Horseshoe II and Monument fires, effective June 12, 2011 and continuing; and

b. Direct that the sum of $100,000 from the general fund be made available to the Director of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management to be expended in accordance with A.R.S. §35-192, A.A.C. R8-2-301 to 321, and Executive Order 79-4; and

c. Direct that the State of Arizona Emergency Response and Recovery Plan be used to direct and control state and other assets and authorize the Director of the Arizona Division of Emergency Management to coordinate state assets; and

d. Authorize the Adjutant General to mobilize and call to activate all or such part of the Arizona National Guard as is determined necessary to assist in the protection of life and property throughout the State.

In addition, because of the federal fire management assistance grant, 75 percent of the state's response and fire-suppresion costs associated with the Monument and Horseshoe 2 fires will be paid by the federal government.

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3 years ago

Dozens of horses moved due to Monument Fire

TUCSON - The Sierra Vista Riding Club is now taking care of over 120 horses, up from 6 when they started on Tuesday.

News 4 talked to volunteers and we'll tell you what their needs are and how you can help. Tune in to News 4 Tucson and KVOA.com this evening for more.

3 years ago

PCSD personnel to assist with Monument Fire

TUCSON - Thirteen personnel from the Pima County Sheriff's Department are en route to assist with needs at and around the Monument Fire burning in Cochise County.

According to PCSD officials, two commanders, one sergeant, and 10 deputies will team up with Cochise County deputies to "assist with any law enforcement related needs," officials say. The commanders will provide assistance as part of the Incident Command Team.

It is unknown how long the PCSD personnel will remain, but officials say PCSD will assist Cochise County as necessary.

Photo by Shay Smith

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3 years ago

Gov. Brewer speaks to victims of Monument Fire

SIERRA VISTA - Speaking at a news conference at one of the evacuation center from the Monument Fire, Governor Jan Brewer praised the efforts of the firefighters on the front lines of the 18,000 acres blaze, and encouraged residents to have patience as the efforts to contain and control the fire continue.

"We're just going to have to be patient to see what indeed has taken place," Brewer said to group of reporters and evacuees after touring Cochise County's two active wildfires.

She praised the people, law enforcement, fire fighters and other officials for bending together in this time of crisis.

"We are a strong people and I know that they came together, as they always have in the past," Brewer said.

Brewer also made clear that the Monument and Horseshoe 2 Fires are receiving the state's full attention and resources:

"Everything possible that can be done in regards to containment is being done at this time," Brewer said.

3 years ago

U.S. Cavalry offering help to move large animals

FT. HUACHUCA - The B Troop 4th United States Cavalry at Fort Huachuca is working to help folks get their large animals safely from the area near the Monument Fire.

Officials with the group say people should call 520-538-2178. The Calvary will bring trailers to help them move horses and other large animals.

Go to http://www.huachuca.army.mil/pages/garrison/units/BTROOP/ for more information about the B Troop 4th United States Cavalry.

3 years ago

7 houses detroyed by Monument as evac. area is extended

SIERRA VISTA - An update to confirmed damage caused by the Monument Fire so far: seven houses and four outbuildings have been lost to the fire, and one vehicle and one historic building have been damaged.

The mandatory evacuation area has been extended to cover the following areas:

-West side of Highway 92 from Stump Canyon, north to Ramsey Canyon Road.

-East side of Highway 92 from Ramsey Road east to Moson Road / Moson Road south to Hereford Road/ Hereford Road west to Highway 92.

In addition, the following roads and areas are closed until further notice:

-Ash Canyon, Hunter Canyon, Stump Canyon (both upper and lower), Turkey Track, will remain closed until further notice.

-Highway 92 closed at Ramsey Road on the north and Palominas Road on the south. All traffic coming from Bisbee to Sierra Vista DO NOT USE Highway 92. All traffic going to Bisbee from Sierra Vista DO NOT USE Highway 92.

The Cochise County Sheriff's Office has the following request for affected citizens:

"The Cochise County Sheriff's Office is asking the citizens to please be patient during this very trying time. Public Safety officials are doing everything possible to get people to safety in a timely and professional manner, so the cooperation of the public is critical. One male subject has been arrested and charged on eight felony counts for attempting to ram a marked patrol unit doing road closures."

Donations are accepted at the Fry Fire Station on Yaqui, and the Red Cross Shelter/City of Sierra Vista at Apache Middle School.

Here are the locations and phone numbers for all evacuation centers currently in use:

-Apache Middle School opened by the City of Sierra Vista and the Red Cross 249-3297

-Buena High School opened by the City of Sierra Vista and the Red Cross 520-318-6740

-Cochise College in Douglas has offered the use of their Dorms in Douglas. Anyone interested is asked to call 520-255-4240 for further information.

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3 years ago

Monument Fire human-caused, near Mexico border

SIERRA VISTA - Officials have confirmed that the Monument Fire has been determined to be human-caused.

Fire information official Tom Fields says that the fire started in the Coronado National Memorial, in an area adjacent to the U.S.-Mexico border. At this time, officials aren't sure whether the fire was sparked on the United States or Mexico side of the international borer.

The Forest Service is leading an investigation into the exact cause, with the U.S. Parks Service assisting.

3 years ago

Wildfire south of Sierra Vista over 18,000 acres

SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. (AP) - Burned acreage numbers are up and the containment number is down on the Monument Fire burning near Sierra Vista. The U.S. Forest Service officials say the fire has burned 18,580 acres or 29 square miles. The containment number has fallen to 15 percent from an earlier report of 17 percent containment.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation after it starting June 12 in the Coronado Memorial.

The Sierra Vista Herald reports that no homes were destroyed after the fire jumped Highway 92 Thursday east of Stump Canyon.

Aircraft are bombing the wildfire with water and fire suppressing chemicals, but the planes could be grounded Friday afternoon as winds pick up.

Fire officials say winds combined with heat, low humidity and dried out trees and brush means a challenging day ahead.

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3 years ago

Monument Fire forcing evacuations, jumps road

SIERRA VISTA - The wildfire burning near Sierra Vista has increased to more than 18,000 acres and is forcing evacuations.

Evacuations are currently underway in the Hereford and Ramsey areas. The Cochise County Sheriff's Department says these are people who were allowed back in last night.

Fire information officials say the monument fire is 18 square miles and is 17 percent contained.

The fire has jumped the east side of Highway 92, prompting a mass evacuation.

1,700 homes are left empty. The Monument Fire started Sunday near the border with Mexico. Flames and smoke have destroyed 40 homes and damaged 10 other buildings.

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3 years ago

Friday's Monument Fire Forecast

TUCSON - The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for Cochise, Graham and Greenlee Counties. This is in effect starting at 12 PM today & expiring tonight at 7 PM. Low relative humidity values and gusty winds will create an extreme fire danger.

Because of this, News 4 Meteorologist Jeff Beamish has set the Wildfire Index at a 10, which is the highest on our scale. Winds near the Monument Fire will be gusting to 30 mph out of the west-southwest this afternoon. These winds will carry smoke from the fire into Tombstone, Bisbee, Douglas and Pearce.

Daytime highs Friday in Cochise County won't help much either, with upper 90's expected.

Mother Nature's relentless winds don't look to subside anytime soon. Another Pacific cold front will pass through the Great Basin this weekend, bringing wind gusts to 50 MPH by Sunday.

To see Jeff's True View 4 extended forecast, visit KVOA.com/weather.

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3 years ago

Monument Fire Evacuations

COCHISE COUNTY - The winds made fighting the Monument Fire difficult for firefighters Thursday. Fire officials anticipate on Friday they will need to evacuate everyone South of Ramsey Road.

For the third night in a row, people packed a town hall meeting, looking for answers. For some, they received news about their home they had been praying for.

"It's obviously a huge relief. You know the emotions are up and down because we first heard it jumped the road and went through Wildhorse so we had no idea what happened to our home," said Wild Horse resident Richard Dirks.

But with a new day, came new evacuations.

"My daughter was evacuated so she was bringing all of her stuff to our house. We no sooner got to my house, and then they said we had to be evacuated so we only had ten minutes notice to get out of there," said resident Diane Smith.

The feelings of uncertainty and not knowing are weighing heavy on some evacuees minds.

"If they tell you your house is okay one day, you don't know if it's going to be okay the next day because the fire is so erratic and doing the most weird things," said Stump Canyon resident Chelsea Cook.

"It's pretty horrifying actually because you are just so attached to the area," said Kelsey Banister.

Some residents growing restless, as they wait.

"I know there are other people from Stone Canyon who are very eager to see if they still have houses. Who can tell us that?"

But still appreciation for those out on the fire lines.

"We feel we owe them a debt of gratitude for what they are doing," said Dirks.

The Red Cross said they have received more than enough food and clothing donations and right now they need monetary donations to meet immediate needs. If you would like to donate, checks can be sent to the American Red Cross. They must have "Cochise County Fires" in the memo in order to make it to those affected by the Monument Fire.

3 years ago

Facebook page dedicated to Monument Fire

TUCSON - New information, pictures, and offerings are popping up on a Facebook page solely dedicated to the Monument Fire in Cochise County.

Hundreds of photos are all over the page, along with people offering up anything they can to help others.

The photos, at one point, were keeping people updated almost live with the spread of the fire. Some pictures show the firefighters hard at work, and Facebookers comments were thanking them for their service.

Others are using this as an outlet to help others. Some residents are offering up anything and everything they have: diapers, yard space, flatbeds...and it's helping.

The Facebook page for that fire is called Monument Fire AZ.

3 years ago

Updated Monument fire evacuations

The latest from the Cochise County Sheriff's Department:

Closures/Evacuations:
Ash Canyon, Hunter Canyon, Stump Canyon (both upper and lower), Turkey Track, will remain closed until further notice.
Highway 92 closed at Hereford Road, south to Coronado Memorial Road throughout the night.
All locations on the west side of Highway 92 from Miller Canyon south to Ash Canyon will remain closed until further notice.
Hereford Road is closed until midnight between Moson Road east to Palominas Road.

Mandatory evacuation:
As of 8:30 tonight, all evacuation areas on the east side of Highway 92 will be re-opened to allow residents to return home and make more thorough preparations to evacuate as needed. All evacuated areas from today will be placed on pre-evacuation notice again first thing in the morning (June 17, 2011). This is from Ramsey Road and Highway 92 east to Moson Road, and south to Highway 92. We are anticipating that the above listed area will be in the mandatory evacuation zone for tomorrow no later than 10:00 a.m. and will most likely include additional areas northeast of Ramsey Road. Please be prepared to leave at a moment's notice, as that may be all the time you have.

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3 years ago

Updates from Monument fire meeting

SIERRA VISTA - It's another overflow crowd tonight as people are updated on the Monument fire. Residents were told that everything south of Ramsey will most likely be evacuated tomorrow. Officials have also sent word to the Governor's office that they would like a State of Emergency declared.

There was some good news, no homes have been lost of east of Highway 92.

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3 years ago

More people get ready to leave as Monument fire approaches

Pre-evacuation orders for people throughout the canyons of the Huachuca Mountains. In Carr Canyon, Cochise County Sheriff deputies gave residents pre-evacuation orders Thursday morning.

Hank Brodkin has lived in his home since 1998 and started packing up his belongings, "We're leaving a lot of stuff here. I have books upstairs but those are things I can't possibly take."

Brodkin has a defensible space around his property but worries about his four acres of land, "We've actually been expecting this because it hasn't rained and it's so tinder dry."

Up the road, neighbor Susan Crockett lives in a concrete home and is packing everything from a respirator to vitamins even artwork. Outside their home, her husband Rocky secures the attic vents to prevent any embers from getting inside the home.

Crockett said, "I want to stay of course I want to stay in my house. It's traumatic but we're going to make that decision when we see flames coming over the hill."

Next door to the Crockett's home Ronnie Amador is driving a tractor creating a defensible space at his friends home, "It's good to know you have friends in these situations. Friends, family help you get through the tough times."

Further up the road, a woman named Patty has friends and family helping her pack up everything they can and as quickly as possible, "It's been a serious drought for a long time it's just kindling, I'm just asking the public to start praying for rain we need rain here."

3 years ago

Southwest Gas shuts down service near Monument

SIERRA VISTA - As a precaution, Southwest Gas has shut down natural gas service to 57 customers south of Hereford Road, adjacent to Highway 92. This was done as a precaution to minimize impact form the fire and protect public safety, officials say.

Southwest Gas has a plan to isolate and shut down their natural gas facilities if it becomes necessary, they say.

3 years ago

Tonight's Community Meeting on Monument Fire still on

SIERRA VISTA - Incident officials confirm that the Community Meeting scheduled in Sierra Vista tonight is still on, and will contain information on any possible further evacuations.

The Community Meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the Windemere Hotel, 2047 South Highway 92 in Sierra Vista.

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3 years ago

State of Emergency delcared in Cochise County

SIERRA VISTA - The Cochise County Board of Supervisors has officially declared a state of emergency, and is calling on the Governor to do the same.

In a resolution passed just minutes ago, a local state of emergency was declared due to the two large wildfires burning in Cochise County: Horseshoe 2 and Monument.

"Additional state support for emergency protective measures and response efforts currently being conducted by the county are of a demonstrated need at this time," states the resolution. "The Cochise County Board of Supervisors hereby requests that the Governor also declare a State of Emergency to support the citizens impact by these fire."

3 years ago

More pre-evacuations ordered around Monument Fire

SIERRA VISTA - Pre-evacuation notices are now active from Highway 92 to the San Pedro River, between Ramsey Road and Highway 92.

Highway 92 is now closed at Ramsey Road and Coronado Memorial.
All the following mandatory evacuations are in effect:

Deputies and law enforcement personnel are currently going through the area again and there is a road closure at Rio Santiago and Three Canyons.

The Fire has now jumped over Highway 92 at mp 332 (@ Stump Canyon) and is now burning on the east side of Highway 92. There is a mandatory evacuation for the following areas:

Entire east and west side of Highway 92 between Ramsey Road and Hereford

All Areas between Ramsey Road east to Moson Road, south to Hereford

Hereford Road to Palominas Road south to Highway 92 and back to the west to Highway 92

3 years ago

Several Hereford residents refuse to leave as fire advances

HEREFORD - Several residents in Hereford are refusing to leave their property, even as the fire is mere yards away from their property.

Cochise County Sheriff's officials confirm that fire is now 100 years south of Hereford Road at Ranch. They say that several residents there are refusing to leave.

3 years ago

Highway 92 closing at Hereford and Bisbee

SIERRA VISTA - Highway 92 is now closed at Ramsey Road and Coronado Memorial. Cochise County Sheriff's Office is asking that everyone avoid Highway 92 is possible.

According to a community radio station director in the area, the Bisbee Police Department is closing Hwy 92 at Willson Road in Bisbee, all traffic diverted back along Hwy 80 at this time.

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3 years ago

More evacs ordered along Highway 92

SIERRA VISTA - Due to the continued spread of the Monument Fire, and its jump to the eastern side of Highway 92 near Hereford, more mandatory evacuations have been ordered:

-Highway 92 at Hereford Road east to Y Lightning Ranch Road
-Y Lightning Ranch Road south to Hereford Road
-Hereford Road west to Highway 92,
-The entire east and west side of Highway 92 between Ramsey Road and Hereford.

In addition, the closure of Highway 92 has been shifted north from Hereford to Ramsey Road and Highway 92.

Y Lightning and Hereford Road is closed to all traffic. There is a "soft closure" at Hereford and Moson to redirect traffic going to Sierra Vista using Monon Road to Highway 90.

Image courtesy Andrew J. Vock Jr.

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3 years ago

Animation shows growth of Monument Fire

SIERRA VISTA - Using Google Earth and temperature detection from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer, we've created an animation showing the growth of the Monument Fire, along with maps showing the relative size and rough perimeter of the 9,300-acre blaze.

The AVHRR can detect surface temperatures to within 1.1 km - each dot on these maps represents a 1.1km fire detection point. The yellow dots were detected within the last 6 days up until the last 24 hours, orange represents the last 12-24 hours, bright red the last 6 to 12 hours, and the dark red fire detections from within the last six hours.

Using Google Earth and the data available from the U.S. Forest Service, you can track not only the growth and size of a fire, but its detected temperature, weather around the wildfires, official information, and more.

Try it out - you can even post the maps you make to our Arizona Wildfires or Monument Wildfires photo gallery!

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3 years ago

Monument Fire jumps Highway 92 at Stump Canyon

SIERRA VISTA - The Monument Fire has again jumped Highway 92, this time near Stump Canyon.
Cochise County Sheriff's Office confirms the Monument Fire crossed Highway 92 at mile post 332, and is now burning on the east side of Highway 92.

Highway 92 is closed at Hereford Road on the north, and Coronado Memorial on the south.
The following roads are also closed to allow for the quick access of air support units gathering water:

Avenida Saracino, South San Pedro and Ramsey, and Loma and Highway 92. (all of these roads are east of Highway 92) Forest Service security personnel are enroute to assist with the site security and road closures.

Cochise County Sheriff's officials are reporting that some Three Canyons residents are returning home against the evacuation order. Law enforcement personnel are currently going through the area again to enforce the mandatory evacuation, and to enforce the road closure at Rio Santiago and Three Canyons.

3 years ago

Hereford evacuees can pick up their mail in Sierra Vista

HEREFORD - Hereford residents evacuated by the Monument Fire can pick up their mail from the Sierra Vista Post Office beginning today.

According to a release from the U.S. Postal Service, customers with Hereford P.O. boxed and evacuees whose homes are on the Hereford mail delivery routes can pick their mail up form the Sierra Vista Post Office at 2300 E. Fry Blvd.

There will be a separate window specifically for Hereford residents to pick up their mail.

This service will be available from noon to 5 p.m. on weekdays, and on Saturday, the windows will be open from noon until 4 p.m.

3 years ago

New pre-evacuation orders around Monument announced

SIERRA VISTA - According to the latest update, several new areas near the Monument Fire have been put under pre-evacuation notice:

West of Highway 92: From Miller Canyon north to Ramsey Canyon
East of Highway 92: From Hereford Road north Ramsey Road. One mile east of Highway 92 on Hereford Road to approximately Y Lightning Ranch Road.

Residents may see ribbons or flagging tape on their mailboxes, front door area, fencing during this process. This is a public safety indicator that the occupants have been contacted and are aware of the pre-evacuation/evacuation orders in place. Please do not remove these flagging devices as it saves time and effort on the part of emergency personnel, according to Cochise County Sheriff's Office officials.

The following areas have been evacuated already, and the sheriff's office will revisit them today to ensure that residents have left the area:

West of Highway 92: Hereford Road to Ash Canyon Road. This includes but is not limited to East Flying V Lane East Miller Canyon Road, East Hillcrest Drive, East Bristlecone Lane, East Oak Haven, East Hunter Canyon, East Baumkirchner Road, East Stump Canyon Road, East Spring Road and South Deer Trail.

East of Highway 92: Hereford Road to Circle S. Ranch Road and South to East Pioneer Lane to include but not be limited to Cave Place, Haul Drive, Davis Street, Shirley Drive, East Corral Drive, Madelein Drive, East Bricky Drive, East Roger Drive, East Linda Vista Drive, Olive Lane, Calle Coyote, East Antler Trail, La Paloma, Sunnyvale Road, Valley Vista and Pioneer Place.

Highway 92 is now closed at Hereford Road and Coronado Memorial. Cochise County Sheriff's Office is asking that everyone avoid Highway 92 if possible.

General donations are being accepted at the Fry Fire Station on Yaqui, and the Red Cross Shelter/City of Sierra Vista at Apache Middle School.

3 years ago

Donating items for Monument Fire victims, firefighters

SIERRA VISTA - According to an update on the Monument Fire unofficial Facebook page, donated items for the firefighters are being accepted all day today.

Facebook user Kelly Clark says that the firefighters are in need of over-the-counter pain relievers like aspirin and Motrin, and "Icy Hot"-type topical pain relievers.

"THEY ARE HURTING OUT THERE!!" states Kelly Clark on the Facebook page.

Clark says that the evacuation shelter is also in need of the following items: detergent, laundry supplies, cat/dog bowls, towels, toys for kids, clothing.

She says these items can be dropped off from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today at 216 Myer Drive, Sierra Shadows Realty.

3 years ago

Live stream of Monument Fire online

SIERRA VISTA - One resident living near the Monument Fire is now live-streaming a view of the blaze from his Sierra Vista home. He recently posted a link to the ustream channel on the Monument Fire unofficial Facebook page.

You can view the video in the player below, or by clicking here.


Online TV Shows by Ustream

3 years ago

Meeting regarding Monument Fire scheduled for tonight

SIERRA VISTA - Officals have scheduled a community meeting tonight.

It's 6:00 p.m. at the Windemere Hotel in Sierra Vista. That's on Highway 92.

Fire officials will provide information and answer questions about the 9,300 acre Monument Fire.

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3 years ago

Sheriff Dever: Ash Canyon residents could be home in 24 hours

SIERRA VISTA - It was a packed house at the Monument fire update in Sierra Vista. Sheriff Dever told Ash Canyon residents they may be able to go home within the next 24 hours. Dever also added that when mandatory evacuations are ordered, people should leave right away.

The Fire Operations Chief told the crowd they are gearing up for a fierce day tomorrow. Winds are expected to be 40 miles per hour. He said they are formulating a long term plan to fight this fire.

Kim Hall with the Coronado National Memorial says the entire memorial area has been burned. But she says the area will grow back after the flames are gone.

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3 years ago

Still more evacuations ordered around Monument Fire

SIERRA VISTA - Still more mandatory evacuations have been announced by the Cochise County Sheriff's Office.

Here is the complete list:

West of Highway 92: Hereford Road to Ash Canyon Road. This includes East Flying V Lane East Miller Canyon Road, East Hillcrest Drive, East Bristlecone Lane, East Oak Haven, East Hunter Canyon, East Baumkirchner Road, East Stump Canyon Road, East Spring Road and South Deer Trail.

West of Highway 92: Hereford Road to S. Circle Drive and South to East Pioneer Lane to include Cave Place, Haul Drive, Davis Street, Shirley Drive, East Corral Drive, Madelein Drive, East Bricky Drive, East Roger Drive, East Linda Vista Drive, Olive Lane, Calle Coyote, East Antler Trail, La Paloma, Sunnyvale Road, Valley Vista and Pioneer Place.

Ash Canyon, Hunter Canyon, Stump Canyon (both upper and lower), Turkey Track will remain closed until further notice.

People are encouraged to leave immediately.

To date, 50 structures (40 homes and 10 other structures) have been damaged or lost in the Ash Canyon area including the listed roads: Ash Canyon Road, Muffin Lane, Deer Trail, Prince Placer, Acorn, Pickett Lane, Twin Oaks, Mountainview, Stoneridge, Turkey Track and East Spring Road. Additional assessments will be completed throughout the day.

According to Cochise County Sheriff's officials, there is a pre-evacuation notification for all residents from Stump Canyon up to and including Miller Canyon. This will encompass all roads in between such as Dead Bear Draw, Vista Grande, Wickersham, and over to Three Canyons to include Hereford Road and Highway 92 and East Highway 92 to Palominas Road. As of now the fire is near Miller Peak. All residents in this area will be encouraged to make advanced arrangements for livestock and large animals to be moved which will allow an evacuation process to run more smoothly if necessary.

The Cochise County Sheriff's Office has resource information available to help move large animals. Anyone needing assistance is asked to call the Sheriff's Office at 520-432-9500 and we will be able to give phone numbers for volunteers to help in this effort.

Here is a list of resources for individuals who may need assistance evacuating, either with large animals, house pets, ambulance transport, or other needs:

New Frontier Animal Medical Center
520.234.5145
Going to Grandmas
520.227.3629
Sierra Vista Animal Hospital
520.458.8656
Sierra Vista Riding Club
520.678.0360
Lions Club Swap Meet- Hwy 90 (RV owners)
520.456.7816
American Mini Storage (Personal Items and RV)520.378.2688
Cochise Co Sheriff's Office- Evacuation Information
520.432.9500

4 Paws Inn at 4066 E. Monsanto Dr. in Sierra Vista is offering to board household pets of affected victims for free. Contact Stephanie Clark at 520-378-7176 for more information.

More information can be found at:
http://www.sierravistaaz.gov

3 years ago

Pictures show destruction caused by Monument Fire

HEREFORD - News 4 Tucson viewer Nicholas Hegarty was granted temporary access to some of the areas evacuated due to the Monument Fire.

Hegarty says he took these photos around Stone Ridge Road in Hereford, Arizona, shortly after noon today.

"After driving through the neighborhood, the impression that I got is that the homes are either completely destroyed or untouched," Hegarty says. "The landscape is blackened throughout, but it looks like the firefighter were able to minimize the number of homes lost."

Officials say at least 50 structures have been destroyed or damaged by the Monument Fire, including 40 homes.

"I hope these pictures help give a sense of the destruction, and at the same time the heroism involved in this tragic event," Hegarty says.

Click here to view all of Hegarty's photos on the News 4 Tucson Monument Fire gallery.

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3 years ago

More mandatory evacuations ordered around Monument Fire

SIERRA VISTA - Additional evacuation orders have just been put out by the Cochise County Sheriff's Office:

Mandatory evacuation from Hereford Road to the Hereford Post office and Stump Canyon, E. 92 to Circe S. Ranch to Pioneer S. People are encouraged to leave immediately.

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3 years ago

Time lapse shows hours of the Monument Fire in seconds

SIERRA VISTA - The Monument Fire has grown to 5,200 acres and is 10 percent contained by a crew of about 400 people, as of the latest update from incident commanders.

Daniel Ellisworth has posted several videos to YouTube showing yesterday's activity near the Monument Fire in just 21 seconds. Ellisworth says in the video description that the time lapse was taken from the late afternoon to the evening.

The dramatic video shows plumes of smoke coming from the area affected by the Monument Fire, then the visible glow of spots were the fire is active once the sun sets.

Check out the video below to see the time-lapse, and check out Ellisworth's YouTube channel to see extended clips, and more video of the Monument Fire.

3 years ago

50 structures now damaged or destroyed by Monument

TUCSON - Forty homes and 10 other structures have been damaged or destroyed by the Monument Fire, as of the latest update from Cochise County Sheriff's Department.

These lost properties are along the following roads: Ash Canyon Road, Muffin Lane, Deer Trail, Prince Placer, Acorn, Pickett Lane, Twin Oaks, Mountainview, Stoneridge, Turkey Track, East Spring Road, and Brushy Oak. Additional assessments will be completed throughout the day, sheriff's officials say.

The following closures and evacuation areas remain in effect:

Ash Canyon, Hunter Canyon , Stump Canyon (both upper and lower), Turkey Track will remain closed until further notice.


There is a pre-evacuation notice for all residents in the following areas:

Stump Canyon up to and including Miller Canyon. This will encompass all roads in between such as Dead Bear Draw, Vista Grande, Wickersham, and over to Three Canyons.

Residents are encouraged to make arrangements for themselves and their belongings, as well as any livestock, large animals and pets which need to be moved.

For resource information on help for moving large animals, call the Cochise County Sheriff's Office at: at 520-432-9500 - they will be able to give phone numbers for volunteers to help in this effort.

4 Paws Inn at 4066 E. Monsanto Dr. in Sierra Vista is offering to board household pets of affected victims for free. Contact Stephanie Clark at 520-378-7176 for more information.

3 years ago

At least 24 homes destroyed by Monument so far

ASH CANYON - At least 24 homes in the Ash Canyon area have been damaged of lost to the Monument Fire, according to the latest update from Cochise County Sheriff's Office.

The areas where homes were lost include: Ash Canyon Road, Muffin Lane, Deer Trail, Prince Placer, Acorn, Pickett Lane, Twin Oaks, Mountainview, Stoneridge, Turkey Track, East Spring Road, and Brushy Oak.

No injuries have been reported so far - at 9 a.m. today, sheriffs did a second evacuation check in the Stump Canyon area to make sure all residents had left the area. Sheriffs estimate that about 650 residences have been evacuated at this time.

There is a pre-evacuation notification for all residents from Stump Canyon up to and including Miller Canyon, sheriffs say. This will encompass all roads in between such as Dead Bear Draw, Vista Grande, Wickersham, and over to Three Canyons.

The concern today is that similar wind conditions as yesterday could cause another active day for the Monument Fire, which has grown to 5,200 acres burned.

3 years ago

Monument Fire info meeting tonight at 6 p.m.

SIERRA VISTA - There will be a public information meeting tonight about the Monument Fire at Windemere Hotel and Conference Center in Sierra Vista, 2047 South Highway 92.

More info on evacuations and pre-evacuations, as well as information on evacuation center, assistance for those with animals and available ambulance transport can be found at:

http://www.sierravistaaz.gov

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3 years ago

Latest from the Monument Fire

HEREFORD, AZ - The Monument Fire continues to burn south of Sierra Vista, as hundreds of residents are under mandatory evacuation orders. At last count, 5,200 acres have burned and the fire is 10 percent contained.

The list of areas where evacuations have been ordered are: Ash Canyon, Hunter Canyon, Stump Canyon, Lower Stump Canyon, and Turkey Track. Everyone on both the East and West of Highway 92 between Coronado and Three Canyons cannot return home until further notice.

The Cochise County Sheriff's Department estimates approximately 650 homes have been evacuated.

Sheriff's deputies and fire units are still assessing damage to structures. Deputies tell News4 the fire has either partially or entirely destroyed 24 homes.

Highway 92 is closed from Hereford to Coronado Memorial Road.

Those who have not yet been evacuated are asked to remove the brush 30 to 50 feet from around their homes, and those living on a slope should push the brush even farther back.

For those already evacuated, many are wondering, "what's next?"

Hundreds attended a Fire Information Meeting Tuesday night at the Windemere Hotel in Sierra Vista.

"I'm just in awe, and I'm in shock and in denial," said Ash Canyon resident Dana Springer at the meeting.

"Black clouds, and you could see orange spots and it's just going crazy," said evacuated resident Norman Beck.

Residents watched in terror Tuesday afternoon. In a matter of hours, their backyards erupted in flames. Now many are left in limbo wondering what will be left when they go back.

"I'm just hoping by some miracle that my home is missed," Springer said.

John Herrod already knows what he will find when he returns to the top of Ash Canyon.

"I had two big tree pillars in the front of my house that everyone told me that would be the first thing that burned. The reports are that's the only thing that's standing," Herrod said.

Herrod's home was destroyed by the flames.

"I was right there. Probably about 2 to 3 minutes after I left is when it blew up," Herrod said.

Herrod says he is unsure if his family will rebuild in Ash Canyon.

"It's just a house, life goes on, but it changes things," Herrod said.

Fire information will be available at Valley View Elementary School from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Call (520) 432-9500 for evacuation information.

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3 years ago

Monument fire destroys homes near Sierra Vista

TUCSON - A terrifying sight for homeowners in the line of the fire.

John Herrod is one of them. He watched as the flames came closer and closer to his Ash Canyon home.

"All of a sudden, I just look up and I got the feeling it's time to leave. Probably by the time we got to the bottom of the road the whole place just exploded," said Herrod.

His house was destroyed in the fire. He said, "I've lived in the canyon long enough to know that if the fire ever got up where it did, if something wasn't done in the canyon it would just engulf the whole area which it did."

Herrod and his wife are empty nesters, and their kids will no longer return for family gatherings and holidays.

"It's just a house, life goes on, but it will change things," Herrod said.

Fire officials advise anyone who may have to evacuate in the future to cut down the brush 30 to 50 feet from their home. They also have current statuses for homes threatened at the Red Cross Evacuation Shelter at Palomino School.

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3 years ago

Red Cross; missing animal information for Monument Fire

SIERRA VISTA- If you need assistance from the Red Cross as a result of the Monument Fire you can call: 800-341-6943

If you are missing loved ones go to safeandwell.org

If you have lost or are missing animals in Cochise County because of the fire call 520-432-9500.

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3 years ago

Latest Evacuations from Cochise Sheriff's Department

SIERRA VISTA - Here are the latest updates from the Cochise County Sheriff's Department.

Closures/Advisories/Evacuations:

Ash Canyon, Hunter Canyon , Stump Canyon (both upper and lower), Turkey Track will remain closed until further notice.

Previous evacuations were made to the above and:
Oakridge, Three Canyons, North Kings Ranch, El Paco, Bloomfield (e/w), Fiesta, Sturgis, Star View Pass, David, Nikki, Tequila Sunrise, Orion, Thuma Real, Rios Santiago, Boboli, Gold Poppy, Oak Haven, South Mule Place, and all of Highway 92 between Gold Poppy and Oak Haven, which have since been re-opened. People living in these areas are allowed to return home.

Highway 92 at Hereford has been re-opened, however, a new closure of Highway 92 at Three Canyons and up to Valley View School has been closed and will remain so until further notice.

Additional updates will be released as they become available.

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3 years ago

Help for pets impacted by Monument Fire

SIERRA VISTA - Here are the latest updates from inside the Monument fire meeting. If you have animals in need call 520-234-5145, it's a local vet helping out. Also the Humane Society says there is free boarding at "going to Grandma's call 227-3629.

The meeting ended with some people sending this message to Gov. Brewer: No Fireworks thie 4th of July.

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3 years ago

Meeting being held in Sierra Vista on Monument Fire

SIERRA VISTA - A meeting is being held in Sierra Vista on the Monument Fire. It started at 6pm and we are told hundreds are in attendance. News 4 has been getting updates from a resident inside the meeting. She says, Forest Supervisor Jim Upchurch, told the crowd with emotion that, "We we're unable to prevent this fire, sad ... but we have the best people working this." He told the crowd they need to be prepared for what comes tonight and hope for better days.

Sheriff Dever also spoke to the crowd saying they are trying to be responsive to animals as well.

Please check back with KVOA.com for continues updates.

3 years ago

More evacuations ordered around Monument Fire

SIERRA VISTA - According to officials with the Cochise County Board of Superviors, more evacuation orders have been issued due to the spread of the Monument Fire.

The list of areas where evacuations have been ordered are: Ash Canyon, Hunter Canyon, Stump Canyon, Lower Stump Canyon, and Turkey Track.

Board of Supervisors officials also say that an evactuation order have been issued for everyone along the north side of Highway 92 to the river, but this order has not yet been confirmed.

According to the Board of Supervisors official, incident commanders are also recommending that Three Canyons and Wildhorse residents "get out of there."

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3 years ago

Monument burns at least one building in Ash Canyon

ASH CANYON - Incident officials confirm that one building in Ash Canyon has been burned by the Monument Fire.

Currently, four helicopters are working overhead to control the wildfire, which has spread to at least 4,600 acres since it was sparked on June 12.

Ash Canyon is currently on the north end of the fire, and more than 330 personnel are on the ground working to control this blaze.

Stay tuned to News 4 Tucson and KVOA.com for more.

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3 years ago

Receiving center open, and info meeting on Monument Fire tonight

SIERRA VISTA - The Red Cross receiving center is now open at Palominas Elementary school for evacuees of the Monument Fire.

The receiving center is located at:
Palominas Elementary School
10385 E. Hwy 92
Hereford, AZ (Google Map)
Receiving center hours are 1:00 - 9:00 pm.

In addition, there will be a public information meeting on the Monument Fire tonight at 6 p.m., at the Windemere Hotel, 2041 S. Highway 92 in Sierra Vista.

Anyone needed assistance with animal evacuations can call Care 4 Horses at 520-559-2224.

An evacuation order has been issued for all residents of Ash Canyon, near Hereford. Stay tuned to News 4 Tucson and KVOA.com for more information and future evacuation orders.

Image courtesy Julia Babygil

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3 years ago

Ash Canyon evacuated due to Monument Fire

TUCSON - An evacuation order has been issued for Ash Canyon, near Hereford, Arizona, due to the spread of the Monument Fire south of Tucson.

Image courtesy Connie G Scammell via Facebook

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3 years ago

Monument Fire now a national priority

HEREFORD, AZ - Fire crews are still battling the Monument Fire south of Sierra Vista, which has reached 4,600 acres and is now considered a top priority across the country.

At 6 o'clock this morning, the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team assumed control of the fire, led by Incident Commander Greg Poncin.

"What we really want to do is try and wrap this thing up so it's not going to be burning for the next month. So we're scratching our heads on how we are going to be able to do that," Poncin said.

The fire is so important on the national scale that some hot shot crews and Poncin's Incident Management Team were pulled from the Wallow fire to come to Hereford.

"Here, if we are going to be successful in this really steep, rugged ground, we need crews that are trained and equipped and able to handle this kind of ground," Poncin said.

The fire is 0 percent contained and two out-buildings, a garage and a barn, have been destroyed. 100 other structures are considered threatened.

75 residences are under evacuation mandates, from Coronado Memorial Road west and north to Ash Canyon south of Highway 92. Evacuations are in effect until at least noon today while crews work to restore power to the area.

Though much smaller than the Wallow Fire, the Monument Fire has a complex nature of its own. Firefighters are facing rough conditions through the canyons and some of the flames are now burning across the border into Mexico. The fire line is also close to a number of homes.

To make matters more difficult, flames are tearing through sensitive Coronado National Memorial land that was supposed to be "off limits" to the public.

"They do believe that it was human caused, but who or how, that's something that they'll need to figure out," said Denise Shultz, Chief of Visitor Services for the National Park Service.

As that investigation continues, crews have their eyes on Ash Canyon, hoping to secure the edge of the fire.

"The goal is, we want to keep this thing as small as possible," Poncin said.

Poncin also says firefighter safety is a major concern moving forward, as the Monument Fire continues to be extremely difficult to fight.

A public fire information meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. at the Windemere Hotel and Conference Center, 2047 S Highway 92 in Sierra Vista.

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3 years ago

Monument Fire latest

TUCSON - The Monument Fire is the latest fire to break out in Southern Arizona.

There is no containment on the fire right now and is spreading rapidly. It has burned 3,000 acres in the Coronado National Monument near Sierra Vista. The fire is a level one, so it requires the highest level of expertise to fighting it.

Firefighters are attacking it from the air and from the ground. However, officials tells News 4 the huge air tankers were grounded due to the high winds. The helicopters were able to help.

Some residents evacuated earlier are being allowed to return but all areas from and including Coronado Memorial Road west and north to Ash Canyon south of Highway 92 still remain evacuated.

Denise Schultz with the Coronado fire service says the firefighters are challenged by the wind, the dryness, and the lack of humidity. "They're really working on structure protection to bring the fire under control," she says.

Martin Ellsworth and his family were evacuated. He says he didn't know what to pack or take with him. He took picture albums with him, but had to leave his animals. "We could see the flames from the top of the mountain to the bottom," he says. He was able to return to his house on Monday and found everything just as he had left it. He says they were fortunate.

Also of concern is the Shrine of Our Lady of the Sierras. A 75-foot Celtic cross and a 30-foot statue of the Virgin Mary are located high on a hill in the Huachuca Mountains. An inmate crew from Wilmot spent the night clearing the area around the shrine as well houses around it protect them from the fire. Joanie Evans says their church, Sierra Springs, has called on its members to pray. "We pray to God that he will enable all these firefighters to stop this before it takes people's homes and maybe lives," she says.

Officials say the fire is human caused, and it's under investigation.

3 years ago

Forest Service: Monument Fire behavior "extreme"

SIERRA VISTA - The Monument Fire, sparked yesterday afternoon near Sierra Vista, has grown to about 3,000 acres and is 0 percent contained, as of the latest update.

Forest Service officials say that currently, six crews, 13 fire engines, four water tankers, two air tankers, and four helicopters totaling a crew of 250 are assigned to this fire. A Type I incident management team will assume command of the fire later today.

Coronado National Memorial Drive is closed south of Arizona Highway 92, and all roads through Coronado National Forest west of the memorial are closed.

All houses along Coronado National Memorial Drive have been evacuated, along with anyone present at Coronado National Memorial itself, officials say.

Crews are currently attempting to protect structures in the southern end of the Ash Creek subdivision by burning out vegetation in the area.

Forest Service officials say that the fire's behavior is extreme, with wind a terrain driving the blaze in steep, rugged areas. The fire is human-caused, and is under investigation.

Carol Capas with Cochise County Sheriff's Office says that anyone needing assistance with animal evacuations (ANY animals to include livestock, horses, rabbits, goats, pigs, domestic animals, etc.) can call Care 4 the Horses at 520-559-2224. They will have volunteers standing by to assist with this effort.

3 years ago

Monument Fire grows to 2,500 acres

SIERRA VISTA - The Monument Fire has grown to about 2,500 acres since it was sparked sometime yesterday - officials say the fire is spreading rapidly, and has destroyed two structures and forced a road closure.

Ash Canyon is closed due to the Monument Fire, and Memorial Road has been close due to a downed power line.

Currently, five crews of firefighters, 13 fire engines, four water tankers, one air tanker, two planes and three helicopters are working to control this fire. Six more fire engines and four water tankers are en route, officials say.

An incident management team will assume command of this fire later today.

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