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.
Additional fire crews arrived today, totaling six crews on the fire line. Three helicopters continue support firefighting efforts on the ground by dipping water from Pena Blanca Lake to provide water drops from buckets suspended below the ships.
The portion of the fire burning on Coronado National Forest lands east of Summit Motorway and west of Walker Canyon is approximately 700 acres. A much larger portion of the fire burns in Mexico. Fire managers plan to hold the fire south of Ruby Road, east of Sycamore Canyon and west of Walker Canyon. The potential exists for the fire in Mexico to grow westward and cross onto Coronado National Forest lands at another location. The fire’s perimeter remains uncontained.
John Thornburg’s Type 3 incident management team will assume command of the La Sierra Fire at 6:00 a.m. tomorrow.
Visitors should be aware that heavy truck traffic from incident vehicles will be encountered along Ruby Road and in the immediate area. Pena Blanca Lake will be formally closed as soon as administrative directives are signed, but for safety reasons, it is functionally closed at this time. Forest users are encouraged to avoid the area for safety purposes, and to enable suppression and support operations to proceed with their work in a safe and efficient manner.
- 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 700 acres
- Percent Contained: 0%
- Cause: human
- Personnel Assigned: 180
- Vegetation: oak grassland and brush
- Growth Potential: high
- Resources Assigned: 4 hotshot crews, 1 initial attack crew, 1 type 2 crew; 6 engines; 1 water tender; 1 light, 1 medium, and 1 heavy helicopter; Miscellaneous overhead
MODIS Fire Detection Satellite Data: A map of current MODIS Fire Detections is available at http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/current.php
MODIS fire detection data representing heat sensed by satellite is updated several times throughout the day, providing near real-time information. Each 1 km MODIS fire detection is depicted as a point representing the centroid of the 1 km pixel where the fire is detected. They are categorized by time of detection; last 6, 12 and 24 hours, and all detections previous within the last 24 hour period. The MODIS data represents heat, but sometimes can be misleading as it may pick up heat from a smoke column, etc. outside the fire’s perimeter. However it can help provide a sense of where the fire is most active throughout the day.
MODIS Fire Detection data is also available in Google Earth: http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/googleearth.php. You need to have Google Earth open on your computer before opening layers. To install Google Earth visit http://google.com/earth.
To View Wildfire Data in Google Earth on an iPhone or iPad: Use the Safari Browser to go to http://activefiremaps.fs.fed.us/googleearth.php, then click on the KML file you want to view, and select Open in Google Earth.
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.