Aliso Fire Burning in Steep, Rocky Terrain of the Coronado National Forest

May 22, 2015 - 6:59 pm

The Aliso Fire is located in the  Santa Catalina Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest. The fire is approximately 40 percent contained and estimated to be 130 acres.

Summary: Firefighter and public safety is our number one priority. The fire is burning in a remote location in steep rocky terrain. It has burned into natural barriers – a rocky area on the southwest side of the fire and a wet drainage with cottonwoods and water on the north and east sides of the fire. Using natural fire breaks as firelines when possible, reduces impacts on natural and cultural resources, and is a safe, effective, and cost efficient way to contain wildfire in remote, steep, rugged terrain.

Today a light helicopter conducted aerial reconnaissance and dropped water from a bucket to cool hotspots on the northeast corner of the fire. A medium helicopter shuttled handcrews to the fire location. Firefighters used bladder bags with water they gathered from tinajas to mop up on the east side of the fire. Firefighters pumped water from tinajas to extinguish hot spots with hose lay on the west side of the fire. Firefighters made significant progress mopping up hot spots and cold trailing around the entire perimeter of the fire. Cold trailing is a method of controlling a partly dead fire edge by carefully inspecting and feeling with the hand for heat to detect any fire, digging out every live spot, and trenching any live edge.

The fireline held through the wind event today. Minimal fire behavior was observed. The fire continues to creep and smolder. Good humidity recovery overnight is expected to minimize overnight fire activity.

Firefighters will camp out in the field overnight and will continue to mop up tomorrow further towards the interior, deepening the fireline to help ensure it is secure. The current plan is to use the medium helicopter to shuttle crews off the fire early tomorrow evening.

For further information on this incident please visit Updates will also be available on @CoronadoNF_Fire and

Closures: Douglas Spring trail, east of Ernie’s Falls Junction to Cowhead Saddle, including the Douglas Spring campground are currently closed in Saguaro National Park.

Fire details

Cause: human caused, under investigation

Vegetation: oak-juniper grassland

Growth Potential: low

Resources Assigned:Approximately 50
2 Type 2 handcrews
1 Heavy Helicopter
1 Medium Helicopter
1 Light Helicopter
Air Attack
Miscellaneous Overhead

Structures Threatened: None