Over 200 fire personnel from multiple fire agencies around the state are battling the Sawmill Fire, which was burning an estimated 15,000 acres about 40 miles in the Coronado National Forest, according to the Arizona Department of Forestry.
Golder Ranch Fire District
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The Sawmill Fire continues to blaze in southern Arizona off of State Route 83 south of the Interstate 10, according to the Arizona Department of Transportation.
Arizona Department of Transportation
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Fire officials use planes and various methods to fight Sawmill Fire, according to the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management.
Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management
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Raw Video: Sawmill Fire burns south of Tucson
Sawmill Fire burns along highway
Arizona officials continue to fight Sawmill Fire blaze
The Sawmill fire, which has burned nearly 47,000 acres of land roughly 10 miles southeast of Green Valley, was 61 percent contained as of Friday night, according to the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management.
An interactive fire map of the affected area is available here.
Close to 800 personnel were part of the firefight. A Type I Incident Management Team assumed command of the fire Thursday because of increased complexity.
Firefighters on Friday mostly concentrated on securing the northeast side of the fire, officials said in an update Friday night. Officials said there was minimal fire activity on Friday and the acreage burned had not increased significantly.
SEE ALSO: The latest on Sawmill, Cactus fires
The potential for fire activity remained high, however, because of the possibility of strong winds, officials said.
Plans to control the fire include patrolling around the area west of the blaze and a continued “direct suppression” east of the fire, according to forestry officials.
A “red flag” warning indicating potential high winds is in effect Saturday from 11 a.m. through 8 p.m. Fuels in the fecund landscape include tall grass, riparian woodland, chaparral mesquite, oak brush and pinyon-juniper.
Still at risk are nearby homes, ranches, outbuildings, communication facilities and portions of the Arizona National Scenic Trail, which spans more than 800 miles from the U.S.-Mexico border to Utah.
There have been no reports of structural damage or injuries, though about 100 people had been evacuated from their homes. No new evacuation notices were issued, officials said, but several areas remained on pre-evacuation notice.
A statement from the Border Patrol’s Tucson Sector said an off-duty agent was involved in recreational shooting when the fire sparked about 10 miles southeast of Green Valley midday Sunday.
The agent immediately reported the fire to authorities, the Border Patrol said.
The blaze is believed to have been human-caused, and an investigation is underway to discover the cause, fire officials said.
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