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Updated Jun 25, 2011, 9:01 am
The last residents evacuated because of the Monument Fire were allowed to return to their homes Friday evening
They were allowed to return to the area west of Calle Metate on Ramsey Canyon Road after 6 p.m.
"Fire behavior is expected to be minimal" Saturday, said the Northern Rockies Incident Management Team.
"There is a slight risk of thunderstorms developing over the fire area today," fire managers said in a news release.
After successful controlled burns this week, the Monument Fire remains 64 percent contained.
The fire has burned 29,746 acres and destroyed or damaged 64 homes and businesses since it began June 12.
Saturday, fire crews will continue to mop up and secure the burned-out areas at the mouth of Ramsey Canyon, as well as areas within Ft. Huachuca, fire managers said.
Engine crews will patrol the residential areas for any remaining hot spots, and firefighters will continue to conduct hazardous fuel reduction along Garden Canyon Road.
On the southwest perimeter, crews held the wildfire in check on the ridge between Blind and Ida canyons using retardant air drops, hand line, and burn outs, authorities said.
Approximately two miles of line still need to be constructed to connect Oversight Canyon with Carr Canyon, authorities said.
Fire managers warned residents Friday to "remember there is still residual heat within the fire perimeter. Today crews had to put out smokes caused by residents putting leaves into culverts."
Fire crews completed a controlled burn west of evacuated neighborhoods Thursday night, strengthening control lines in the path of the Monument Fire.
Fire lines in the area of Carr Canyon and Garden Canyon roads were worked on, said fire managers on Friday morning.
Friday's lifting of evacuation orders means that all residents have been allowed to return to their homes.
State Route 92 was reopened, and the permit requirement for residents reentering evacuation areas was lifted Thursday, in what authorities called a "key day" in the fight against the wildfire burning southeast of Sierra Vista.
A fire information meeting is scheduled for Saturday at 6 p.m. at the Buena High School, 5225 Buena School Blvd. in Sierra Vista. Bulletin boards with fire information are set up at the schools, Sierra Vista Mall food court, and Windemere Hotel; fact sheets and maps are posted throughout Sierra Vista, Bisbee, Palominas, and Huachuca City.
About 1,200 firefighters were battling the blaze, with 7 helicopters, 1 single-engine air tanker and 2 heavy air tankers. The helicopters remained assigned to the fire Saturday, authorities said. Complete containment is not expected until mid-July, fire managers said.
Of the fire's total acreage, 15,265 are within the Coronado National Forest, 8,077 on private land, 4,843 at the Coronado National Memorial, 198 on Bureau of Land Management public lands, 487 on State Trust lands, and 195 within Fort Huachuca. The fire has also burned 1,527 acres in Mexico, in addition to the 29,065 acres in Arizona.
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