Progress: Brown Fire now 25 percent contained

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The Brown Fire is burning in a mix of timber and brush. (Source: Cochise County Sheriff's Office) The Brown Fire is burning in a mix of timber and brush. (Source: Cochise County Sheriff's Office)
(Source: Coronado National Forest) (Source: Coronado National Forest)
It erupted Sunday afternoon.  (Source: Cochise County Sheriff's Office) It erupted Sunday afternoon. (Source: Cochise County Sheriff's Office)

Favorable weather conditions helped firefighters reach 25 percent containment of the Brown Fire in the Huachuca Mountains in southeastern Arizona on Friday morning.

The Forest Service said fire activity was very low, as of Friday afternoon, because of higher humidity and a light mist in the area.

Utilizing helicopter water drops, ground crews were able to make progress on the creeping and smoldering fire in the Coronado National Forest near Sierra Vista and keep it at 240 acres through the night.

More than 400 people, including 10 ground crews and six aircraft, have been assigned to attack the wildfire burning in the Huachuca mountains northwest of Sierra Vista.

Heidi Schewel of the Coronado National Forest Fire Department said the fire was human-caused.

The Coronado National Forest said a portion of the Sierra Vista Ranger District will be temporarily closed in the area of the Brown Fire. People will not be able to use the Brown Canyon Area west and northwest of Ramsey Canyon. Visitors will also be prohibited from Forest Service Road 5736, Brown Canyon Ranch Road, and Forest Service Trail 115, 116, 117, 122, 123, 129, 103.

The Forest Service also reminds drivers that as resources are being released from the fire, there will be additional traffic in the area.

The area will remain closed until May 1 or until the order is rescinded. Violators will be fined up to $5,000 for individuals and $10,000 for organizations.

The wildfire forced the evacuation of Garden Canyon on Sunday afternoon and has grown from 25 acres to 240 acres by Thursday afternoon. Forest officials said 232 acres are on U.S. Army Fort Huachuca and eight acres are on Coronado National Forest land. That is down from the previous estimate of 366 due to revised mapping.

No other evacuations have occurred. Law enforcement officers said they've been going door-to-door in the Ramsey Canyon advising residents to be prepared in the event of an evacuation.

The wildfire started on U.S. Army Fort Huachuca on April 13 and burned onto the Coronado National Forest at approximately 11 a.m. on Monday.

The fire continued to burn in a bowl in the upper elevations of Scheelite Canyon in a mix of timber and brush in rugged terrain, Schewel said.

No structures were threatened, Schewel said.

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