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Fire crews enjoyed calmer winds yesterday, which allowed for more air support and time to bolster fire lines around threatened communities. Despite this, the Bighorn Fire grew a few more thousand acres, mainly to the north and east of Mt. Lemmon.


"The big story for yesterday was the stark difference weather-wise from the day before, and how it cooperated with us," said fire operations section chief Travis Mayberry. "Without those winds, the ground crews were able to get a lot of good work done."


The Bighorn fire is still 40 percent contained, and more than 900 personnel are working on it. According to Mayberry, crews today will be working on creating fire buffers around Summerhaven and other Mt. Lemmon structures. However, residents should expect to continue to see fire and smoke moving south down the mountains toward Tucson. Fire crews are expecting this. Oracle residents should expect to see a lot of smoke this evening.


The areas of Mt. Lemmon, Summhaven, Soldier Camp, Willow Canyon, and Peppersauce Canyon to Highjinks Road in the Oracle are still under an evacuation order.


“We’re making sure we’re ready on the north end, making sure no fire moves into the communities there,” Mayberry said.


The Catalina Foothills and areas of Oro Valley east of Oracle Road and north of Magee have been downgraded from "set" to "ready" to evacuate under the state's Ready, Set, Go system.

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