The Brown Fire saw moderate growth Sunday under extremely high temperatures. The fire is currently estimated at 8,107 acres with 15% containment. The fire is burning in tall grass and chaparral in steep and rugged terrain on Arizona State lands, the Fish and Wildlife Service Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge, BLM Wilderness, private lands and Tohono O’odam Nation Lands. One uninhabited structure and one outbuilding were burned when the fire began on June 17. The human-caused start remains under investigation.
The incident is being managed under a unified command consisting of fire managers from Arizona State Forestry, Tohono O’odam Nation, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management and US Forest Service. The Incident Commander is John Thornburg of the Southeast Arizona Type 3 Team. Incident priorities remain providing for the safety of the public and firefighters, protecting structures in Brown and Thomas Canyons, and minimizing fire impacts to valuable resources in the area including Baboquivari Cave, Sycamore Canyon Springs, the Kitt Peak National Observatory and private lands.
Fire officials are cooperating with leaders of the Altar Valley Conservation Alliance to minimize impacts of the fire to habitat and area ranch operations. The incident command post is located in a valley just south of the fire. Currently 215 personnel are assigned to the incident, including the Craig Hotshots, one Forest Service handcrew, three Arizona State Fire Crews and ten fire engine crews.
Today firefighters are strengthening indirect control lines with burning operations and continuing structure protection measures in Thomas and Brown Canyons and area ranches. Helicopters and fixed-wing air tankers are being utilized as needed. Ground and air operations continue to be challenged by the heat, low humidity, and steep, inaccessible terrain.