River Fire staying on top of Mesa

September 5, 2019 - 5:00 pm

The River Fire grew about 160 acres overnight, continuing to burn on New River Mesa away from communities and infrastructure. Fire activity increased today over previous days with winds and canyons lining up to push fire north toward Forest Road 41. Nearby residents may see a helicopter dropping water on hotspots.

Firefighter and public safety remains the number one priority. The suppression response strategy is to prevent the River Fire from moving toward communities while limiting firefighter exposure.   

Additional firefighting resources, including engines and helicopters, have been ordered to assist with suppression operations as needed. Tonto National Forest fire managers are coordinating with local emergency response agencies and sharing updated information as it becomes available.

Residents can expect to continue to see the fire’s glow after dark and communities near New River Mesa may smell smoke overnight as the air cools and smoke settles into the drainages below

River Fire Overview


  • Approximately 7 miles north of Cave Creek, and 3.5 miles east of New River
  • Nearest town is New River

Start Date: 9/3/2019

Size: 2,100 acres

Percent Contained: 0

Cause: Lightning