Monument fire, increasingly blamed on illegalsPosted: Updated:
SIERRA VISTA, Ariz. -- More than 1,000 firefighters remain on the lines of the Monument wildfire burning south of Sierra Vista.
Lighter winds Tuesday helped increase containment to 45%. The fire has charred 27,000 acres since it started June 12 in the Huachuca mountains.
And more and more officials now believe the Monument Fire was caused by illegals near the U.S.-Mexico border.
Many residents blame drug smugglers and Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever agrees.
"People who use that area, it's a high intensity, drug and human trafficking area, smuggling area. And, everything we know historically, that we know about the facts on the ground today, the landscape and everything just points directly to that cause," said Cochise County Sheriff Larry Dever.
He says authorities could have done a better job addressing the fire early.