Firefighters continue to construct line on the Pinery Fire

May 14, 2018 - 9:08 pm

The Pinery Fire is estimated to be 40 percent contained and approximately 1,200 acres.  Ground and aerial resources are taking suppression actions where they can do so safely and effectively. There have been no structures lost and no injuries.

The fire is currently hung up on cliffs and rocky outcroppings on ridgetops, and has not progressed further north into Chiricahua National Monument. Firefighters continue to construct direct line and extinguishing hotspots along the north and northeast portion of the fire perimeter. The south, west and east perimeters have been quiet. Firefighters are monitoring and patrolling these area for hotspots.

Firefighters continued structural prep in the Chiricahua National Monument headquarters area and scouted ahead to plan for point source protection for the lookout tower, as a precautionary measure. Crews will be chipping cut vegetation from these areas for several days. Crews have also been scouting ahead for options to provide structure protection in the east White Tail Canyon area, as a contingency if there is a need.

Helicopters dropped water to cool hotspots early in the day on Monday, before high winds grounded them in the afternoon.

Demobilization of resources no longer needed will begin Tuesday, May 15. Three hotshot crews (Bitterroot, Mesa, and Geronimo) will remain to continue suppression efforts.

Objectives: Firefighters are working to hold the fire north of FR 42, south of the 181 Road in Chiricahua National Monument, and west of the North Fork of Pinery on the FR356.

Challenges: There fire is burning into Wilderness, into remote, steep, rugged terrain. There are limited water sources in the area. Warmer, drier weather and high winds are expected to continue.

Structures Threatened: The fire is currently approximately one mile south of park infrastructure including headquarters buildings, employee housing, a campground and the historic Faraway Ranch in Chiricahua National Monument. The Sugarloaf Lookout tower is also located in Chiricahua National Monument. The fire is currently located approximately 7 miles west of the community of Paradise, AZ and approximately 5 miles southwest of private inholdings in Whitetail Canyon. There is also one house at the Coronado National Forest Pinery Administrative site.

Evacuations: The Cochise County Sheriff's Office has issued "Set" notices (pre-evacuation) for the east White Tail Canyon area. Follow for current evacuation information. Register for Cochise County Emergency Alerts at

Weather: Less wind is expected Monday through Wednesday, though occasional afternoon gusts are likely due to strong daytime heating. Winds will then increase Thursday and Friday as a weather system passes north of our area. Temperatures will be around normal for the start of the week before warming to 5 to 8 degrees above normal by mid week.

Closures: Chiricahua National Monument is closed. The Coronado National Forest will also be implementing forest closures in the fire area for public safety.

Restrictions: Stage II Fire Restrictions are in effect across Southern Arizona.

Wildfires are a No Drone Zone. If you fly, we can’t. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) is in effect. Every time a drone is spotted near the fire all aircraft are grounded until we can be sure the drone is clear of this area. More info visit Know Before You Fly,

Fire details:

Date/Time Reported: reported Saturday, May 12th, around 1:30pm

Location: Approximately 29 miles SE of Willcox, AZ. The fire started on private land, and has moved to the north and east onto Chiricahua National Monument and the Coronado National Forest.

Estimated Size: approximately 1,200 acres

Containment: 40%

Cause: human caused, under investigation

Resources: Approximately 260 resources assigned under a Type 3 incident management organization

Fuels: The fire is burning in the footprint of the 2011 Horseshoe 2 Fire, in an area with heavy grass, brush and dead and down vegetation. There is mixed conifer in higher elevations.