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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

June 22 Fire Update

Contreras Fire Wildfire
News – 6 days ago


Fire Information: 520-302-5120 Media Information: 520-497-3625

Twitter: @BLMAZFire Facebook: @TON.Emergency.Management or @blmarizona 


SUMMARY: 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. 

TODAY: Today, crews will follow similar burning operations from yesterday that are necessary to strengthen containment lines. These operations entail burning interior pockets of vegetation. As this work occurs, the fire’s acreage will increase; however, the fire’s footprint will change very little.  

Aircraft will be available to support ground crews working to reduce fire behavior on slopes below Kitt Peak. This work is key in protecting utility corridors that provide power to Kitt Peak.  

On top of Kitt Peak within the Observatory property, structure protection crews will continue looking for and extinguishing heat. Water tenders will also replenish a pond that served as a critical water source for firefighting operations early in the fire.  

Assessments of Observatory structures are ongoing. The south half of the fire will remain in patrol status, with fire personnel actively scouting for damage caused by fire suppression activities.  

A Burned Area Emergency Response Team is expected to begin suppression repair assessments Thursday. 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. 

Fire behavior analysts anticipate significant reduction in fire behavior over the next 24 hours, with more humid conditions and a possibility of wetting thunderstorms. Threats to Kitt Peak Observatory, Pan Tak and Hayhook Estates are expected to be significantly reduced over the next 36 hours as interior vegetation to the north and east burn out. Flash flooding is a concern with periods of intense rainfall.  

YESTERDAY: Very little perimeter growth was detected. West of Pan Tak and the Coyote Mountain Wilderness Area, crews conducted successful burning operations within the interior of the fire to strengthen containment lines and prevent future growth.  

Along the south perimeter of the fire, especially in and around Elkhorn Ranch, crews scouted for damage from suppression activities.


  • Fire start date: June 11, 2022 
  • Cause: Lightning 
  • Size: 28,977 acres, an increase of 4,216 acres from yesterday 
  • Containment: 50% 
  • Total Personnel: 440 
  • Jurisdiction: BIA, Papago Agency 


Crews: 9 

Engines: 28 

Water Tenders: 19 

Graders: 2 

Helicopters: 7 

Evacuations: The Kitt Peak Observatory is in GO status. Pan Tak is in GO status. Hayhook Estates is now in READY status. Elkhorn Ranch is now in READY status.  

Road Closures: Kitt Peak Road (State Route 386) remains closed. 

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