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Contreras Fire

Unit Information

Papago Agency
Bureau of Indian Affairs
P. O. Box 490 Sells Arizona 85634

BIA Shield

Incident Contacts

Fire Information (Public)
Phone: 520-302-5120

Media Inquires
Phone: 520-497-3625

Highlighted Activity

06/24/2022 June 24 Fire Update
 INCIDENT INFORMATION: Twitter: @BLMAZFire Facebook: @TON.Emergency.Management or @blmarizona E-mail: SUMMARY: The...
News - 06/24/2022
Contreras Fire Perimeter Map. For a more detailed map click PDF.Image options: [ Full Size ]

The Contreras Fire started June 11 on a remote ridge of the Baboquivari Mountain range, north of the Baboquivari Peak, 20 miles east of Sells, Arizona, on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation. The fire, burning in highly flammable grass and brush in steep and rugged terrain, is difficult for firefighters to access. The fire is being Managed by Eastern Area Type 2 Incident Management Team.

TODAY: This is the final daily update for the Contreras Fire. The Fire received up to two inches of rain yesterday, helping crews bring containment of the fire to 100%. Accelerated demobilization of resources is in progress.

A local Bureau of Indian Affairs Type 4 Incident Management Team will assume command on Saturday, June 25, with resources sufficient to perform any mop up and suppression repair activities. A National Burned Area Emergency Response Team is in the area conducting assessments. They will provide recommendations for both short and long-term repair and/or recovery efforts if any are necessary.

Kitt Peak National Observatory continues to be in evacuation status, but electrical crews and maintenance workers have been allowed into the area to address infrastructure needs.

The Monsoon is firmly in place across the Desert Southwest. Another round of scattered showers and thunderstorms is expected Friday afternoon and through the weekend, bringing a continued threat for flash flooding. Flash flooding from intense rainfall has potential to impact roads and loosen rocks on steep slopes in burned areas. Debris flow from these areas can cause dangerous conditions. Residents and drivers are encouraged to remain vigilant and watch for rapidly changing conditions. Wind gusts up to 45 mph and blowing dust could also create hazardous conditions.

The Eastern Area Incident Management Team, under the leadership of Incident Commander Brian Pisarek, wishes to express its gratitude to all cooperators stakeholders, partners, local units, businesses and the communities of Three Points and Robles Junction for their collaboration and partnerships. A special thanks is extended to all initial attack crews, and to the Southeast Zone Type 3 Incident Management Team, who initially took command of the fire on June 14, and helped prepare the way for future full containment of the Contreras Fire.

Beginning Saturday, June 25, requests for information on the Contreras Fire may be directed to Bureau of Indian Affairs Public Affairs Officer Robyn Broyles at or 208-559-1187.

YESTERDAY:  Containment on the Contreras Fire increased to 83% yesterday. Minimal fire activity is expected going forward. Resources are slowly being released to other incidents or to their home units. 

Residents of Pan Tak returned home Wednesday evening. Fire behavior and smoke production will diminish significantly over the next 36 hours as higher humidity settles in and wetting thunderstorms pass through. Smoke may still be intermittently visible from well within the containment area.

Remaining resources on the Contreras Fire will focus on connecting containment lines on the northwest section of the fire. At Kitt Peak Observatory, staff will return to the site today to further perform assessments on scientific structures and equipment. Scouting for damage from suppression activities remains a priority in all areas of the fire’s footprint.

Suppression repair will follow strict standards agreed upon by agency administrators working collaboratively to manage the fire. Some of these activities, depending on jurisdictional policies and land use agreements, could include constructing water bars across roads to divert water runoff; chipping and/or debris removal; repairing fence line; removal of trash and supplies; removal of hazard trees or other vegetation and signage; and removal of structure suppression-related equipment such as hoses and sprinkler systems.

The Burned Area Emergency Response Team will begin suppression repair assessments today. This team is responsible for determining any issues and concerns within the burned area. The team will provide recommendations for both short- and long-term repair and/or recovery efforts.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginSaturday June 11th, 2022 approx. 02:30 PM
Location20 miles east of Sells, Arizona on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation; 8 miles SE of Kitt Peak Observatory
Incident CommanderBrian Pisarek; Type 2 Eastern Area Incident Management Team
Incident DescriptionThe Contreras Fire started June 11 on a remote ridge of the Baboquivari Mountain range, north of the Baboquivari Peak, 20 miles east of Sells, Arizona on the Tohono O'odham Indian Reservation.
Coordinates31.849 latitude, -111.574 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel95
Size29,482 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained90%
Estimated Containment DateSunday June 26th, 2022 approx. 06:00 PM
Fuels Involved

Fuels in the lower elevations are a mix of open grasses and brush. North facing slopes in higher elevation are composed of timber litter and heavier fuels which have the ability to hold smoldering fire for longer durations.

Significant Events

The fire began to receive precipitation at 12:00 p.m yesterday afternoon. Estimates are that between 0.5-2 inches of rain has fell across the fire area. Fire activity is minimal. There has been no thermal activity detected from satellite imagery since 10:45 a.m. on 6/23/22


Planned Actions

Resources are identified to respond to initial attack. The south and western sides of the fire are unstaffed. Resources will implement suppression repair needs, back haul any unnecessary equipment and garbage and document any previously unidentified damage to infrastructure.

Projected Incident Activity

12 hours: The fire has received between 0.5 to 2 inches of rain on 6/23/22. There has been no thermal activity detected from satellite imagery since 10:45 a.m. on 6/23/22. More precipitation is in today's forecast. Minimal fire behavior is expected.

24 hours: There may be some isolated areas of smoke production in the higher elevations but minimal fire behavior is expected.

48 hours: The possibility of thunderstorms in the fire area continues. Minimal fire activity and smoke production is expected.

72 hours: The possibility of thunderstorms in the fire area continues. Minimal fire activity and smoke production is expected.

Anticipated after 72 hours: Continued thunderstorms are being called for along with rain fall. There is no period significant drying in the extended weather forecast. Minimal to no smoke production is likely.


Accelerated demobilization of resources is in progress. Transfer of Command to a Type 4 IMT is expected on 06/25.

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Weather Observations by 1500 hrs.

Isolated to scattered shower and thunderstorms were beginning to develop west of the fire by 1500 hrs. Daytime temperatures were around 95-100 degrees in the lower deserts and 80s higher elevations. RHs were above 20% across the fire with winds out of the Northeast 7-12 mph, gusts 15 20 mph.

Scattered showers and thunderstorms will be possible during the evening becoming isolated showers overnight. Good to excellent RH recovery is expected Saturday morning.

Daily shower and thunderstorm potential continues into next week with the threat for flash flooding each afternoon. Daily RH will remain above 20% with good recovery each morning.