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Apr 29, 2013 7:36 PM

Wildfire out near Nogales

Firefighters knocked down a wildfire Monday. The fire was reported Sunday afternoon by the U.S. Border Patrol. The flames burned 18 miles west of Nogales, just yards away from the border. Heidi Schewel, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Forest Service, said the Juniper Fire was determined to be human caused but remained under investigation.

The area was particularly challenging for the 80 men and women battling the flames. "It's steep and it's rugged and it's rocky," Schewel explained, "and that's difficult for a fire fighter. Fortunately, this fire was accessed by road as well as firefighters on foot so we were able to use fire engines as well hand crews."

The Coronado National Forest Service has had 15 wildfires this year, Schewel said. However, the Juniper Fire was the largest at 160 acres.

"The grasses are dried out on the top, but they're not completely dry. There is still some green on the bottom. We haven't even gotten into the summer heat yet so the fuels aren't as dry as they can be and we're already seeing this kind of fire. It's really an indicator for folks to be aware when they are out there using fire on public lands to especially careful at all times," Schewel said.

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