Sunday, April 30, 2017

Cost to Fight Arizona's Sawmill Fire Exceeds $4 Million, Officials Say

Sean Breslin
Published: April 28,2017

Officials said a large wildfire that has burned all week in southern Arizona has cost more than $4.25 million to fight so far, according to a report from the Arizona Daily Star.
Some 800 personnel have been assigned to the so-called Sawmill fire, which has burned more than 73 square miles and was 40 percent contained as of Friday afternoon. Pilots spent much of Friday morning dumping water on the blaze from above, but as winds picked up again, all airplanes and helicopters were grounded.
Pre-evacuation orders remained in place for hundreds of homes in desert areas near Interstate 10, said Manny Cordova, spokesperson for the interagency team managing the firefighting effort, in an Associated Press report. The wildfire is about 10 miles away from hundreds of homes, all of which are in rural areas near the interstate.
(MORE: Multiple Rounds of Severe Thunderstorms, Including Possible Tornadoes, Expected This Week)
A helicopter takes off in Sonoita, Arizona, as crews battle the Sawmill fire on Wednesday, April 26, 2017.
(Mark Levy/Sierra Vista Herald via AP)

Due to the increasing complexity of the blaze, management of the blaze transitioned to a Type I Incident Management Team Thursday, Inciweb reported. This essentially means the fire is being treated as a natural disaster, said.
Dry conditions were partially to blame for the rapid growth of the fire, according to meteorologist Chris Dolce.
"Precipitation has been below average in this area for the last few months," said Dolce. "Green Valley has seen just 0.43 inches of precipitation since Feb. 1 – about 25 percent of their average for that period."
The blaze started southeast of Green Valley Sunday, near the Santa Rita Mountains. It was sparked by an off-duty Tucson Sector Border Patrol agent who was shooting recreationally, authorities said Thursday.
No injuries or structural damage have been reported.
MORE: Major Wildfires Hit Florida

The Weather Company’s primary journalistic mission is to report on breaking weather news, the environment and the importance of science to our lives. This story does not necessarily represent the position of our parent company, IBM.

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