May 18, 2013 10:36 PM by Erika Flores

Over 150 people working to control Soldier Basin Fire

PATAGONIA-More than 150 fire personnel are busy battling a new wildfire in Southern Arizona.

The "Soldier Basin Fire" is about five miles east of the Nogales Airport and seven miles south of Patagonia.

It has burned more than 800 acres.

"It's very dry. I'm not surprised," said John Slowik, a tourist.

Anyone near Patagonia or Nogales can see the smoke looming over the Patagonia Mountains.

"It was just smoke and you could see the little brush burning," said Mary Ann Smithson, who lives in Nogales.

From the small town of Patagonia you can see a cloud floating overhead.

"What would happen if it got close to a village or something?" said Cesar Jackson who was visiting Patagonia.

District ranger Mark Ruggiero said no homes are in danger yet.

"Right now we don't have any of those hazards to worry about, but we'll see how things go," said Ruggiero.

Several agencies are working to control the fire, on foot and by air.

"It's not the type of country you just want to put crews into direct fighting of the fire," said Ruggiero.

Over 150 firefighters, forest service and county workers are on hand, and believe it or not, they said winds are working in their favor.

"It's helping us. The fire is not running away. It's burning in grass and oak," said Ruggiero.


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