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Evacuations lifted in Patagonia as San Rafael fire is 12% contained | Local news


Evacuations are lifted in Patagonia as red flag conditions dissipate over the San Rafael fire area, allowing firefighters to catch a break.

On Tuesday, firefighters were able to keep the San Rafael fire within its current footprint and kept it from pushing through the established containment lines, a media release from the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management said. The fire is currently at 11,611 acres and is 12% contained.

The fire remains active on the northern and southwestern sides with hot spots being reported within the fire’s interior, the media release said. Pockets of interior fuel continues to burn and as afternoon winds increase, smoke may be visible to nearby communities.

A helicopter remains assigned to the fire to help with bucket work to suppress any hotspots. While there is no critical fire weather forecast for the area, afternoon winds could gust up to 30 miles per mile.

Nearly 200 personnel are assigned to the fire, including hand crews, engines, water tenders and aircraft resources, the media release said.

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All “Go” and “Set” notifications have been lifted as of Tuesday morning and residents have been placed back to “Ready,” with the exception of the Canelo South area. Forest Road 799 is closed for firefighter safety as crews continue to work along the roadway.

Crews are also finding people in the burn area and are asking that people stay out of hazards, such as ash pits.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

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