A forest fire caused by lightning, which led to the evacuation of Keith Peak National Observatory southwest of Tucson, has been controlled by 40%, authorities said.
More than 300 firefighters worked on Saturday at the forest fire. If all goes according to plan, authorities said the fire could be completely contained by next Sunday.
The blaze began on June 11 on a remote ridge in the Tohono O’Odham Indian Reservation, about 8 miles (13 kilometers) southeast of Mount Kit.
It rose to 27.5 square miles (71 square kilometers) before the rain fell in the area on Saturday. The fire was about 30 square miles (78 square kilometers) by Sunday.
The blaze reached Mount Kit by Thursday, and authorities evacuated a small community north of the mountain.
Four unscientific buildings on the west side of the observatory’s property – a house, a dormitory and two small outbuildings – were destroyed. But authorities said early indications showed the fire was not damaged telescope.
According to firefighters, the protection teams of the structures have successfully set up protective lines around all other structures of Keith Peak.
The University of Arizona, which has had a telescope on site since 1962, is a tenant of observatory.
In northern New Mexico, authorities concerned about the threat of flooding following wildfires when the state invaded monsoon season have warned residents of San Miguel and Mora counties to be ready for evacuation due to flood risks, the Albuquerque Journal reported.
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