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Monument Fire 85% contained, low growth potential
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Monument Fire 85% contained, low growth potential

  • An engine crew watches for spot fires during burnout operations Tuesday.
    inciweb.orgAn engine crew watches for spot fires during burnout operations Tuesday.
  • A water drop in Carr Canyon.
    Jin Herrewig/inciweb.orgA water drop in Carr Canyon.
  • A smoke column rises over Canyon de Flores is this undated photo.
    Jin Herrewig/inciweb.orgA smoke column rises over Canyon de Flores is this undated photo.
  • A burnout conducted Tuesday night.
    inciweb.orgA burnout conducted Tuesday night.
  • A burnout operation along Ramsey Road.
    inciweb.orgA burnout operation along Ramsey Road.
  • A Sikorsky S-61 fills up with water while fighting the Monument Fire.
    inciweb.orgA Sikorsky S-61 fills up with water while fighting the Monument Fire.
  • A cedar bursts into flame during a burnout on Tuesday.
    inciweb.orgA cedar bursts into flame during a burnout on Tuesday.

The Monument Fire is now 85 percent contained, and has "low growth potential," authorities said Monday.

"Most of the fire area is showing little to no fire activity," fire managers said.

"Even though the fire is almost contained, residents may still notice small isolated smoke columns," they said. "These hot spots are well inside the perimeter of the fire. They may continue until the monsoon rains."

Smoke and flames are possible in the Carr Canyon area as the weather warms up Monday.

Fewer firefighters and aircraft are tasked to the blaze burning south of Sierra Vista. A "significant demob(ilization) of resources is currently in progress," fire managers said. 652 personnel are assigned to the fire, down from about 1,300 at the beginning of last week. 4 helicopters remain tasked to the fire, authorities said.

The fire has burned 30,526 acres and destroyed or damaged 64 homes and businesses since it began June 12.

After spending several day and night shifts on the west edge of the fire, crews have connected the fire line from Ramsey Canyon Road south to Forest Road 61. Crews continue to patrol this completed fire line along the entire western edge of the fire.

Infrared detection still shows a few isolated hot spots along the fire line in Carr Canyon, south in Oversight Canyon and the Ft. Huachuca burn out, all within the fire perimeter.

Crews will continue to work on these hotspots with helicopter support. Military and fire crews continue to construct and improve lines, as well as clear brush along the Garden Canyon road and elsewhere throughout the fort. As the edge of the fire becomes cold, crews are repairing the fire lines in the forest and around homes.

"Initial attack crews continue to be on alert to respond to any new fire starts that may occur in the area," fire managers said.

A new team of fire managers will take over from the current incident management team on Tuesday. A community meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Monday at Sierra Vista's Buena High School.

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 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."

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.

Bulletin boards with fire information are set up at the Sierra Vista Mall food court, and the Windemere Hotel; fact sheets and maps are posted throughout Sierra Vista, Bisbee, Palominas, and Huachuca City.

Complete containment is not expected until mid-July, fire managers said.

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