Brown Fire Near Sierra Vista Grows To 366 Acres

By  Stina Sieg
April 16, 2014

Courtesy of Jacob Pomrenke
Smoke from the Brown Fire could be seen over Sierra Vista on Sunday.

The Brown Fire near Sierra Vista has grown to an estimated 366 acres. The blaze in the Coronado National Forest is not considered large but could be a sign of things to come this summer.

It doesn't threaten any structures – yet. But police and the sheriff’s department have been alerting local residents to be ready for possible evacuations, and the Forest Service has opened its nearby Libby Air Tanker Base about a month early.

Heidi Schewel is a spokeswoman for the Coronado National Forest. She explained that a dry winter means there’s an above-normal potential for wildfires this summer.

"The same conditions were present the last two years, and it never materialized" she said. "So, the conditions are there, and it comes down to the human ignition sources really being the determining factor on whether we have the fires or not.

She added that people inadvertently start fires in all kinds of ways, from leaving campfires unattended to parking their cars on dry grass. Last year, human-caused fires burned more than 12,500 acres in the Coronado National Forest.