The Main Stream

Jun 28, 2012 10:54 PM

Efforts to put out Cottonwood fire continue

WHETSTONE MOUNTAINS - The Cottonwood Fire near Kartchner Caverns has been burning since Monday night when lightning struck.

The smoke continues to build, especially as winds picked up Thursday evening.

The smoke was evident from Kartchner Caverns, but visitors were so excited to see the caves that they toughed it out.

There were plenty of visitors for it being a weekday.

The people News 4 Tucson spoke to said they are on vacation and they've had this trip to Kartchner Caverns planned for a long time.

They weren't about to be discouraged by a wildfire, but they were also amazed seeing the smoke that the state park is still open to tours.

The fire is to the Northwest of the park.

There are crews on one side of the peak and others visible to the park as well.

Crews are working to contain the fire, and they assured visitors that they are not in any danger.

They said visitors may feel uncomfortable with the smoke but that's about it.

The visitors we spoke to didn't mind the smoke at all.

"No not really. I grew up in southern California and it was on fire quite a bit," said Robert Anderson, a park visitor.

July Walter was also at the park with her family.

"We weren't sure how close it was until we got here. We were concernedl, but they said at the gate that it was still going on, so it's hard to say I think they should know better I hope," said July Walter.

Firefighters said the fire is about 10 percent contained.

Seven crews have been working all week with chainsaws cutting down burning vegetation to contain the fire.

Around 9 p.m. or 10 p.m. Thursday, depending on wind conditions, crews will begin to rest, and then they are back on the mountain to continue their efforts.

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