KGUN 9NewsWildfire Watch


Inside the Bighorn Fire's base camp

Posted at 11:04 AM, Jun 22, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-22 14:04:19-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — For the first time, we are getting a look inside of the base camp that is keeping the Bighorn Fire crews going.

After putting in the long hours to stop the spread of the Bighorn Fire, firefighters can come back to base camp and recharge, grab a bite to eat, and even sleep in the tents.

"On the line, they're usually doing 12 hour days. Then we also have a night shift that does the same so there's never, ever, nobody on the fire, not watching it trying to keep an eye on what it's doing,” said base camp food unit leader Harold Brown.

That’s why the base camp is there. It provides first responders with the nutrients they need to keep going.

“They're hiking sometimes two, three miles just to get to the spot where they have to hike," Brown said. "So they're carrying probably 50 pounds of weight on their backs, plus their tools, then they work all day. They hide back out and we feed them."

The base camp also provides showers and is following CDC guidelines with hand-washing stations and mask requirements. It's also equipped with the supplies needed to fight the flames - whether it be food, oil, or tools.

The supply team gets one shipment of supplies per day- that presents the challenge of ordering just enough.

"I hate to say no when somebody comes up, especially division supervisors or operations and they want to get 20 big water tanks or 20 pumps or whatever it is and we got to make sure that we have, rather than say it's going to be another day," said Jamie Copple, who works in base camp supplies.

Nonetheless, the camp has been set up for weeks making sure firefighters have what they need to be successful.