The Deer Head Fire remains at approximately 1,097 acres and is 55% contained. Increasing moisture and humidity have slowed the fire’s progression in recent days and similar conditions are expected to persist throughout the week. Fire activity is expected to continue to decrease with the return of monsoon weather conditions and potential for precipitation.
The fire area did not receive any precipitation on Monday. The weather forecast is for daily scattered afternoon and evening showers and thunderstorms this week. The peak in activity is expected today, with 60% chance of precipitation this afternoon and a 70% chance of precipitation tonight.
The fire’s eastern flank remains active, and firefighters continue to direct the fire’s spread away from sensitive resources such as the historic Manning Camp. The park’s strategy is to keep the fire east of Heartbreak Ridge. On Monday, firefighters continued rehabilitating trails and fire lines within areas of the fire which are no longer active. Firefighters will continue rehabilitation activities on Tuesday, as weather allows, and will continue to monitor the fire’s behavior, taking action, as needed, to ensure that the fire remains in an area where they can safely manage it.
The lightning-caused fire is located in the federally-designated Wilderness area of the Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park. Lightning-ignited fires are important in maintaining healthy forests in the mountains of southern Arizona. Fire historically burned through the high elevation ponderosa pine forests of southeastern Arizona every few years. This low to moderate intensity surface fire is benefitting a fire-adapted ecosystem by clearing the forest floor of brush, grass, and ponderosa pine and oak litter, improving wildlife habitat and reducing hazardous fuel loads.
All Rincon Mountain District backcountry closures will remain in effect for the duration of the Deer Head Fire to ensure public safety.
For additional fire information visit: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/ or: http://Facebook.com/SaguaroNationalPark or call the Fire Information Hotline at (520) 733-5150.