Mount Lemmon Fire


Getty Images/Bloomberg Creative

Trees on fire in a forest in California, U.S. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

Marley Gandee, Associate Editor-In-Chief

On the weekend of April 29th and 30th, a wildfire broke out on Mount Lemmon, a common retreat from the heat, and daily life of many Tucson citizens. The fire covered around 115 acres, closed the Catalina Highway for most of Sunday afternoon, and evacuated 3 campgrounds, one of which being Rose Canyon Lake so aircraft could use the water. By Monday morning, the fire was reported as 70% contained, and by Tuesday it was confirmed to be 100% put out.

Sunset view of Tucson Arizona looking from Mt Lemmon (Getty Images)

Now, there is a suspect wanted for questioning after a video was found of a man firing incendiary bullets, meaning that once the bullet hits its target, it can cause a fire. These bullets are often used to intentionally start fires, and since the suspect used a homemade target, the risk was even higher. From the video that was posted, sparks can be seen flying up from the target, and with the dry climate of the Molino Basin shooting range, it is obvious that a fire could have easily started. The combination of using these incendiary bullets and starting a wildfire can get the offender up to 6 months in jail, and a 5,000 dollar fine. Anyone with information on the fire or the suspect is encouraged to call 520-388-8343, or email the Coronado National Forest at [email protected].

Seeing the smoke coming from the mountain of such a beautiful place is heartbreaking, so what can you do to prevent future wildfires? If you have a campfire, ensure that it is fully put out before you leave, don’t even leave a slight smolder because that can easily ignite with the pick-up of wind and a spark. Don’t smoke, especially in the dry brush, and if you NEED to, make sure that you do not drop a lit cigarette. (Honestly don’t do it in general; it’s bad for you and the environment.) Refrain from driving your cars in the dry brush, as it can heat up the grass and cause a spark. And most importantly, use your common sense when you go to enjoy the great outdoors. Other people want to enjoy them now, and for many years to come.