The La Sierra Fire, which started in Mexico, crossed the international border into Arizona at about 2:30 p.m. May 16. The fire is believed to be human caused and is of unknown origin.
Six crews are working on the fire line today. Three helicopters continue to support firefighting efforts with water drops from Pena Blanca Lake. Additionally two air attack platforms are assigned to provide aircraft coordination.
High winds, both yesterday and today, have challenged fire fighters. Winds pushed fire across the border west of Summit Motorway late Friday. Supported by helicopter water drops, crews quickly suppressed the incursion with minimal acreage gain.
This morning Mexican fire fighters focused efforts on the northwest portion of their side of the fire and halted fire spread in that area. This will have the effect of stopping further cross-border movement of the fire onto lands managed by the Coronado National Forest.
A suppression line was completed Friday westward toward Sycamore Canyon. Fire fighters patrolled the area today in case winds pushed the fire in that direction. By the end of the day, no further movement of the fire had occurred. Minimum impact suppression tactics (MIST) were used in the Pajarito Wilderness, which minimize residual indications of firefighting activities once the fire has been suppressed.
Crews will continue to patrol, monitor and rehabilitate fire lines tomorrow. With high winds again expected, monitoring the fire to insure it remains within its current perimeter will be a priority.
Smoke will still be occasionally visible from the fire over the next several days as vegetation continues to be consumed on the interior of fire control lines. Visitors to the area will also observe fire vehicle traffic along Ruby Road. Pena Blanca Lake remains closed to the public as is the entire La Sierra Fire area between Sycamore Canyon and Walker Canyon south of Ruby Road. Both closures will remain effective until May 31st unless the restrictions are lifted sooner.
- Start Date: ignited in Mexico, burned onto Coronado National Forest May 16 at approximately 2:30 p.m.
- Location: Nogales Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest, along the Mexican border between Walker Canyon and Summit Motorway; Approximately 9 miles west of Nogales, Arizona
- Size: approximately 4,900 acres
- Percent Contained: 80%
- Cause: human
- Personnel Assigned: 192
- Vegetation: oak grassland and brush
- Growth Potential: moderate
- Resources Assigned: 4 hotshot crews, 1 type 2 crew, 1 initial attack crew; 8 engines; 1 water tender; 1 light, 1 medium, and 1 heavy helicopter; 2 air attack fixed wing aircraft platforms.
Fire Information: For further information on this incident please visit http://inciweb.nwcg.gov. Updates will also be available on @CoronadoNF_Fire and https://www.facebook.com/CoronadoNF.