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Contreras Fire

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Unit Information

P. O. Box 490 Sells Arizona 85634 
P. O. Box 490 Sells Arizona 85634 

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June 23 Fire Update

Contreras Fire
News - 06/23/2022


Fire Information: 520-302-5120  

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: The final daily update for the Contreras Fire will be distributed Friday, June 24. 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. 


At Kitt Peak Observatory, crews scouted for and extinguished any hot spots. Water tenders refilled a pond that was used in the early stages of firefighting activities. 

Crews made extensive progress on total fire containment, connecting control lines on all but one small section in the northwest corner of the fire. Scouting for hot spots and conducting assessments of areas or resources requiring repair was a primary activity both at Kitt Peak and in the southern portion of the fire. 


  • Fire start date: June 11, 2022 
  • Cause: Lightning 
  • Size: 29,482 acres, an increase of 505 acres from yesterday 
  • Containment: 83% 
  • Total Personnel: 383 
  • Jurisdiction: BIA, Papago Agency 



Crews: 7 Engines: 20 Water Tenders: 18 Helicopters: 2  

 Evacuations have been lifted for Kitt Peak Observatory; however, the Observatory remains closed. Evacuation orders for Pan Tak and the Elkhorn Ranch area have been lifted.  


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

Other Considerations:
 Debris flows in or near wildfire burn scars during heavy rain events 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.