/ Modified jun 23, 2023 8:26 a.m.

Multiple fires break out in Hereford, Palominas area

Three fires started around 11 a.m. Thursday

Hereford Fire One of two tankers flies over the Hereford Post office to drop fire retardant on one of three fires reported in Hereford and Palominas. June 22, 2023.
Summer Hom, AZPM News

Update: 8:21 a.m., July 23, 2023

The Cochise County Sheriff's Office reported evacuations in Hereford have ended and Highway 92 has reopened. Sierra Vista Fire Chief Brian Jones said the fire burned about 700 acres and is under control. Fry Fire District Chief Mark Savage concurred with Jones on acreage in an email Thursday night and confirmed that two sheds have been lost.

Three wildfires sparked in the Hereford and Palominas area late Thursday morning according to the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office. Fry Fire District Chief Mark Savage said as of 2:15 Thursday afternoon, all three fires have combined into one and are 5% contained.

Residents are told to evacuate in the areas south of Three Canyons, east of State Route 92 to Deer Ridge, Wildhorse Area, Andalusian Way area, east State Route 92 to Mellak/Pintek, south Hereford to Three Canyons, east of State Route 92 South of Hereford Road to Three Canyons.

There is a soft closure of Ramsey Canyon Road and State Route 92 starting at Ramsey Canyon Road. Only residents are allowed into the area to get essential items, and they must have a sheriff’s escort according to a CCSO spokesperson. If no escort is available, they have to wait. A complete closure of State Route 92 begins at Hereford Road through to Palominas Road according to CCSO.

Savage estimates the fire has burned a couple thousand acres so far, but a confirmed acreage count isn't available yet. A wildfire monitoring website estimates the blaze just south of Stump Canyon Road at around 60 acres.

Savage said that the three initial wildfires were reported at Valley View Elementary School in Palominas, one at Three Canyons and State Route 92 and one at Vista Grande Road and State Route 92. According to the emergency alert app PulsePoint, all three fires were called in between 11:17 a.m. and 11:55 a.m. Thursday morning.

Savage said that crews have responded from the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, Palominas Fire District, Fry Fire District, Whetstone Fire District, Sierra Vista Fire and Medical Services and Fort Huachuca Fire Department.

At least two Very Large Airtanker (VLATs) were seen flying over Hereford and Palominas Thursday afternoon, dropping fire retardant.

Savage said as of 2:15 Thursday afternoon, no homes were immediately threatened. He said that one shed and garage have burned down. He said that they are trying to contain the flames by establishing a fire line.

Sierra Vista Fire and Medical Services' Facebook page announced that two shelters have been set up for evacuated residents who need a place to stay.

American Red Cross Shelter will open at 4 p.m. at Buena High School in Sierra Vista at 5225 Buena School Blvd. The second shelter is open at 3 p.m. at Village Meadows Baptist Church at 1407 S. El Camino Real.

This is an active story and will be updated periodically.

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