- Associated Press - Friday, July 7, 2017

TUCSON, Ariz. (AP) - Authorities are preparing to conduct burnout operations near the closed highway to Summerhaven to protect the evacuated summer-retreat community from a wildfire burning in mountains overlooking Tucson.

Fire management officials say crews have cleared miles of containment line and will begin burning vegetation in advance of the fire if it reaches predetermined trigger points east of the Mount Lemmon Highway.

The fire has burned 39.6 square miles (102.5 sq. kilometers) on the Santa Catalina Mountains’ eastern slopes since starting June 30. Its cause is under investigation. It was contained around 19 percent of its perimeter as of Friday.

Nearly 700 firefighters and other personnel are assigned to the fire, along with dozens of fire engines and water tankers as well as multiple helicopters.

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