ALPINE – Arizona fire season has begun in earnest as the Deer fire began burning in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests last week.

Forest officials received reports of smoke near the Campbell Blue drainage area south of Alpine on May 28 and spotted the lightning-caused fire.

“Due to safety concerns from the overabundance of snags from the 2011 Wallow fire, as well as steep slopes, this naturally occurring low-intensity fire is currently being monitored by both onsite crews, as well as air resources,” the district wrote in a news release, noting the fire will continue to burn and consume unburned fuels in the area.

“Fire crews will focus on protection of Luce Ranch, powerlines and monitoring perimeter growth.”

As of Friday, the fire had consumed 150 acres and was reported as 0-percent contained. Smoke from the fire may impact Campbell Blue and the Blue community.

Greenlee County District 2 Supervisor Ron Campbell commented on the fire, saying, “The fire season has started and we pray that there will be few . . . all eyes are on (the Deer fire) to make sure this does not spread to any residents and utilities.”


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