As Stefan Wilcox breathed in and out through an oxygen machine, he remembered back to his time serving in the military when he was exposed to Agent Orange.

For a few years, hes had to use an oxygen machine and CPAP for health issues related to being exposed to Agent Orange.

However, when homeless living in an encampment behind his house start fires, the smoke from the fires goes into his home and into his oxygen machines, making his health issues worse.

It wakes me up because it smells like the whole house is on fire, so Im up and up and start coughing, Wilcox said.

Wilcox said the encampment has been there since at least 2015. Neighbors in the Foothills also say they have seen other encampments pop up in the Pima Wash in recent months.

Wilcox contacted the County and they got back to him in 2022 and 2023, telling him the encampment is on private property, so only the owner can get rid of it.

I should be able to do something about it, but apparently since the things been here for 10 years, nobodys doing anything, Wilcox said.

The Pima County Regional Flood Control District said theyre seeing more homeless outside of Tucsons city limits, saying it could be because of an increased effort to get rid of homeless encampments in Tucson.

Wilcox is hoping the owner of the property gets rid of the encampment.

Do like they do with the rest of themtear it down, he said.

The County said they clean up in and around the wash four times a year and when needed at someones request.

They said theyre in the process of working with a private property owner to get rid of solid waste on the property in the wash. They said theyre going to be getting rid of it when all the people from the encampment have been evicted.

Still waiting on the property owner, Wilcox is just hoping the homeless are considerate.

I dont want to change my lifestyle because of what theyre doing, he said.