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Wounded owl rescued by firefighter during San Rafael Fire

The injured owl had to be transported in a box to a wildlife center in Tucson.

PATAGONIA, Ariz. — Editor's Note: The above video is from an earlier broadcast. 

A firefighter dispatched to help battle the San Rafael Fire in southern Arizona recently helped rescue a great horned owl caught up in the fire's destruction.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, the small owl attempted to launch from a tree but quickly crashed to the ground and landed in a pile of hot ash. The firefighter scooped up the owl and placed it in a cardboard box. 

Feathers on the owl's wings had melted from the hot ash, immobilizing the owl from taking flight. Firefighters worked together to transfer the owl to a veterinarian at the Tucson Wildlife Center.

The Forest Service said the owl's recovering well at the center and is expected to make a full recovery. Caretakers are planning to conduct a test flight with the owl in the next few days.  

As of Thursday, the San Rafael Fire was about 62% contained after already burning through more than 11,000 acres in southern Arizona. 

The wildfire originated on May 7, about 22 miles southeast of Patagonia in southern Arizona within the San Rafael Natural Area. 

Credit: U.S. Forest Service

RELATED: Evacuations lifted in San Rafael Fire in southern Arizona; more than 11,600 acres burned

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Wildfire Go-Kit:

Residents in wildfire-prone areas are urged to have an emergency supplies kit to bring with them of they are evacuated from their homes, especially as Arizona residents are beginning to see early widespread fire activity throughout the state.

An emergency supply kit should be put together long before a wildfire or another disaster occurs. Make sure to keep it easily accessible so you can take it with you when you have to evacuate.

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends that residents near a disaster store emergency supplies in a plastic tub, small suitcase, trash can, backpack, or other containers.

Residents should make sure they have the necessities, such as three gallons of water per person and a three-day supply of ready-to-eat food, the NFPA said. A first-aid kit, prescription medications, contact lenses, and non-prescription drugs should also be taken into account.

Copies of any important family documents, including insurance policies, identification, bank account records, and emergency contact numbers should also be taken and put into a waterproof, portable container in your kit, the NFPA said.

The association lists other items that would help in a disaster, including:

· Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person

· Battery-powered or hand-cranked radio and a NOAA weather radio to receive up-to-date information

· Dust mask or cotton T-shirt to filter the air

· Matches in a waterproof container

· Complete change of clothing including long pants, long sleeve shirts, and sturdy shoes stored in a waterproof container

· Signal flare The entire NFPA checklist of supplies can be found here.