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Sycamore Canyon Fire

Unit Information

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

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Fire crews achieve 40% containment on the Sycamore Canyon Fire

Sycamore Canyon Fire Wildfire
News – 5/31/2021

May 31, 2021 Daily Update

Acres: Approximately 1,858 acres
Start Date:  May 23, 2021
Cause: Under Investigation
Total personnel: 257
Location: 15 miles southeast of Sells, AZ
Fuels: Short grass and brush

Highlights: On this Memorial Day, fire danger remains “Very High” due to the lack of precipitation, high temperatures, and gusty winds.  Firefighters continue to direct special attention around structures and culturally significant locations.  Through the efforts of the past few days, fire crews have now achieved 40% containment along the northern edge of the fire.  

Operations: Today, resources will secure and monitor existing containment lines under a full suppression strategy to protect those values that could be affected by the fire. As helicopters drop water on the active portions of the fire, water tenders continue to replenish local water sources including Kitt Peak National Observatory. As the chance for lightning increases this week, firefighters are prepared to respond to any new fire starts. Fire managers are continuously evaluating threats to property and cultural locations to determine where resources can best be utilized. Crews expect to achieve additional containment of the fire throughout this operational period, while prioritizing firefighter safety.    

Weather: Dry conditions will persist across the Sycamore Canyon Fire on Monday and Tuesday afternoon. A weather system moving east across northern Mexico will shift the wind direction on the fire, with winds on the valley floors switching around to the west-northwest on Tuesday through Friday. This system will pull moisture westward across the southern half of Arizona this upcoming week, resulting in a slight chance of thunderstorms over the Sycamore Canyon Fire starting late Wednesday and continuing into Saturday. These storms could result in “dry lighting”, or the potential for lightning strikes and gusty outflow winds with little to no wetting rain.

Safety: Health and safety of firefighters and the public is the first priority. Firefighters are conducting operations under protocols to mitigate the risk of COVID-19.

Restrictions:  A Temporary Flight Restriction is in place over the Sycamore Canyon Fire to ensure safe air operations. Due to increased fire activity and dry conditions, Stage 2 fire restrictions are currently in effect in southeastern Arizona. Over the Memorial Day weekend, visitors are reminded to comply with all restrictions to help reduce the risk for human-caused wildfire. For a more detailed explanation concerning agency restrictions and fire information in general, please visit or contact the nearest land management agency office.