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Winds expand Mount Lemmon wildfire

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Winds expand Mount Lemmon wildfire

By Craig Smith. CREATED Jul 3, 2013

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - Rough weather pumped up the Prison Fire on Mount Lemmon Wednesday night.

Since Sunday, crews have been battling the fire which is named after the site of a World War Two internment camp.
Wednesday night's storm whipped up the winds. They whipped up the fire and expanded it by about 40 acres.

Choppers crews are still dousing the land with water to snuff out the fire, and wet down areas so the fire won't spread.
As stiff winds blew up Wednesday night, they pushed the fire past fire lines crews dug or burned in, designed to stop the spread by taking away what the fire needs to burn.

Gerry Perry of the Interagency Fire Center says, "The fire is a little bigger.  It's 280 acres now but the crew was able to get a handle on that additional 40 acres this morning."

In dispatch for the Interagency Fire Center, workers are watching the weather, to see how it may affect fires across the Southwest.  They are prepared to shift crews and equipment as fire and the weather demand.

The Prison Fire is very much a child of the weather.  Lightning caused it.  Winds helped it expand.  They're hoping for rain to help snuff it out.

Craig Smith

Craig Smith

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Craig enjoys using innovative writing and visuals to make difficult stories easier to understand. As a newsroom manager at KGUN 9, Craig was part of the team that won three best newscast awards from Arizona Associated Press