Oak Tree Fire Remains 50% Contained, Exhibiting "Low Growth Potential"

May 22, 2015 - 10:41 am

The Oak Tree Fire is burning in grass, oak, pinyon pine and juniper along State Highway 83 about 10 miles north of Sonoita, Arizona.

The estimated size is 2,023 acres based on better mapping (1,715 acres Coronado National Forest, 305 acres state, 3 acres private, 1/10 acre Bureau of Land Management). At this time the fire is 50 percent contained. Growth potential is currently low.

Objectives for the incident are firefighter and public safety, and to fully suppress the fire where it can be done safely and effectively. Firefighters are working to keep the fire east of State Route 83, north of Empire Ranch Road, south of Davidson Canyon, and west of Cienega Creek.

Approximately 185 personnel are currently assigned to the incident, however demobilization of resources is in progress. All airtankers and helicopters were released yesterday. Engines and water tenders will begin being released today. Several engines and miscellaneous overhead will continue to mop-up hotspots and patrol the fire until it’s fully contained.

No evacuations are in effect. Due to burnout operations, the closest structures are approximately 3 miles to the northeast of the fire.

Cooperators include Arizona Department of Public Safety, Arizona Department of Transportation, Arizona State Forestry Division, Border Patrol, Bureau of Land Management, Coronado National Forest, National Park Service, Pima County Sheriff's Office, Santa Cruz County Emergency Management and Sheriff's Office, Elfrida, Eloy, Golder Ranch, Green Valley, Mescal-76, Northwest, Palominas, Patagonia, Picture Rocks, Whetstone, Sonoita-Elgin, Sunsites-Pearce, Three Points, and Tubac Fire Districts.

State Route 83 is currently open. Motorists travelling in the area are advised to slow down, turn lights on and watch for firefighters working along roadsides, and to use caution as firefighting equipment may be present on roadways. The speed limit on SR 83 in the vicinity of the burn is 45 mph. ADOT has reduced the speed limit between MP 42 – 44 to 35 mph for driver safety due to extensive guard rail damage. ADOT will begin inspection and repair of damaged guard rail today.

Oak Tree Fire summary:

  • Date of Origin: May 21, 2015, at approx. 7:09 p.m.
  • Size: 2,023 acres
  • Containment: 50%
  • Cause: Human-caused, under investigation
  • Fuels: Grass, oak, pinyon, juniper