Contreras fires in southern Arizona grow to more than 20,000 acres, prompting possible evacuations

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While evacuation has not been mandated, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department said in a news release early Monday Residents of the Hay Hook Ranch Estates area should “voluntarily consider relocating with family/friends outside the affected area.”

The department reminded residents to “keep in mind” essentials for pets and livestock, and to stay updated on the latest fire news.

“Emergency services cannot guarantee that they will be able to notify everyone if the situation rapidly worsens,” the department said.

The fire, burning about 40 miles southwest of Tucson, is 40% contained, according to inciwebAn American clearinghouse for fire information.
On Friday, the Contreras Fire damaged several buildings at Kitt Peak National Observatory National Science Foundation’s NoirLab (National Optical-Infrared Astronomy Research Laboratory) said in a release.

“All material scientific observatory structures are still standing and there appears to be very little external damage at this time in terms of facilities on the Southwest Ridge, although many non-science buildings were lost,” Noirlab said.

According to InciWeb, the fire is burning in highly flammable grass and steep, rough terrain that is difficult to brush.

Inciweb says the fire started on a remote ridge of a mountain range on the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation on June 11. It lists the cause as lightning.

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