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Brooklyn Fire burns 33,000 acres, now 75 percent contained


Elizabeth Medora

NORTH VALLEY – The Brooklyn Fire, which sparked on the afternoon of July 7, has burned about 33,000 acres in the Tonto National Forest and the Agua Fria National Monument in Yavapai County. As of Tuesday, the fire was 75 percent contained, according to the Bureau of Land Management. The Bull and Cedar Fires, located southeast of the Brooklyn Fire in remote areas, also are getting contained, with the Cedar Fire nearly completely contained and the Bull Fire about 50 percent contained.

A community meeting was held Monday night at Canon School in Black Canyon City to provide information to local residents and answer questions regarding the fire. No structures have been threatened by the fire, and no evacuations or pre-evacuations have been ordered.

The southernmost end of the fire is located approximately six miles northeast of Black Canyon City, and the BLM stated in a Monday afternoon update on the fire that firefighters are concentrated on the area northeast of Black Canyon City. The updates also stated that, to the north, the fire is predominantly south of the Bloody Basin Road and that firefighters conducted burn out operations east along the south side of the Bloody Basin Road and around Copper Creek Administrative Site.

Local residents have reported seeing flames from the fire at night. Heavy smoke has also been an issue, particularly in the past several evenings when it has been windy. However, structures are not threatened by the fire, and the BLM has reported throughout the fire that incident managers and local law enforcement are continually evaluating the fire situation in the areas closest to homes.

“Citizens of New River, Desert Hills, Anthem, and Black Canyon City are not threatened by the fire at this time,” said Daisy Mountain Fire Department Battalion Chief Dave Wilson in a phone interview on Monday morning. Wilson noted that the fire is being constantly surveyed by air, with its spread being closely monitored.

Rocky Gilbert, Operations Sections Chief of the Southwest Area Incident Management Team 1, said in a July 10 video update on the Brooklyn Fire that the fire activity was being monitored, with the southeast portion “looking fairly good.”

“Overall, the team is getting in, getting a good handle on things, and we’ll have some scouting from a helicopter later today [Monday] to see where the fire lands,” Gilbert said.

The fire is burning in difficult-to-access terrain. Approximately 150 crew members are involved in the fire containment efforts, including air and ground support.

Over the weekend, the weather caused challenges to the firefighting efforts, with high winds and continued concerns of lightning strikes in the area. The Brooklyn Fire, also called the Brooklyn Complex, which incorporates the Bull and Cedar Fires, were all caused by lightning. Since Monday night, the monsoon weather has produced some positive effects for fighting the fire, with higher humidity, rain in some areas, and cloud cover.  

Drones in the vicinity of wildfires continue to be a significant problem in Arizona. Officials are once again trying to drive home the message “If you fly, we can’t!” Firefighting aircraft, which fly very low to the ground in smoky, low-visibility conditions, cannot fly when a drone is in the airspace near them, due to the risk of a collision. As long as it’s in the area, a drone grounds all air attack on a wildfire, which can lead to the fire spreading. The community is asked to please help spread the word and keep drones away from wildfires.

The Southwest Area Incident Management Team 1 emphasized in a recent Facebook post that safety is their top priority and that they have to be sure the airspace is clear before they can fly over a wildfire.

“Drones fly at low altitudes the same as our aircraft,” the Incident Management Team post stated. “That creates the potential for mid air collisions that could injure or kill our pilots or firefighters on the ground.”

Keep updated on the Brooklyn Fire at