Coronado National Forest

Fire crews will begin burning wood piles from forest thinning on Mt. Lemmon February 11 through 15, weather permitting.

Burning will occur along the Catalina Highway, and in Marshall Gulch, Sabino Work Center, Summerhaven and Whitetail Campground. Approximately 100 acres will be burned.

“This project is intended to reduce hazardous fuels adjacent to local communities,” said Santa Catalina District Ranger Charles Woodard. “It’s part of an ongoing fuels reduction project to reduce the threat of wildfire.”

Wintry conditions can bring unexpected surprises and potentially hazardous situations for unprepared visitors to Coronado National Forest.

It’s easy to plan for outings into snowy country, researching forecast weather and conditions on the ground, ensuring your vehicle is appropriate for road conditions, packing warm clothing and gear for your activities, and letting someone know of your plans. 

Across the Forest, rainy weather has caused stream levels to rise, catching recreationists off guard and leaving hikers in some areas stranded.

The Safford Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest plans to conduct wood pile burning activities on Mt. Graham in the Pinaleño Mountains over the next several weeks. Burning will be dependent upon weather conditions.

The project is intended to reduce excessive vegetation or “fuel” in and adjacent to the summer home area of Turkey Flat to create defensible space and restore a more fire resilient forest within the area.

Wood piles in the Noon Creek administrative site and Snow Flat areas may also be burned.

Coronado National Forest officials are expecting large numbers of visitors to the Forest’s most popular campgrounds and picnic areas over Labor Day weekend.  The Forest Supervisor’s Office and all Ranger District offices will be closed Monday, September 3 for the holiday.  The Sabino Canyon Visitor Center will remain open for business throughout the holiday weekend, including Monday.

The following are tips for safe and enjoyable weekend outings. 

An active monsoon season is in full swing across Coronado National Forest, bringing thunderstorms and with them the potential for lightning-ignited wildfires.

Precipitation may or may not accompany thunderstorms.  “Dry” lightning without wetting rain can ignite wildfires, as has recently occurred across the Coronado National Forest, particularly on the Safford Ranger District. Such ignitions are expected to continue until significant rainfall reaches all parts of the Forest. To report smoke or a wildfire please call the Tucson Interagency Dispatch Center at (520) 202-2710.

Visitors to Mt. Graham are advised to use extra caution due to monsoonal storms and increased potential for flooding.

Heavy rainfall may cause downstream flooding of streams, canyons, roads and trails during and after storms. On Mt. Graham, runoff and flooding may be accelerated from the burn scar of the 2017 Frye Fire, as vegetative cover has been lost and water, soil, rocks and woody debris may move swiftly downslope without warning.

As monsoon storms move into southeastern Arizona, lightning strikes present the potential to ignite wildfires. Precipitation may or may not accompany lightning during these early stages of “monsoon season.”

“Dry lightning” is typical on Coronado National Forest this time of year. Fire managers prepare for it, and firefighters are ready to respond to fires.

On July 8, thunderstorms with lightning moved across the Santa Catalina Mountains, causing three ignitions. Firefighters assisted by aircraft responded quickly to evaluate and act on each incident.

The Cumero fire burned on Coronado National Forest and Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge into the interior of Mexico. Today the incident received a light rain for the second consecutive day. Firefighters are actively working on mop up, patrolling the perimeter and cooling hot spots. With the fire activity becoming minimal, the incident will transition to a Type 4 organization tomorrow and will be managed by the Nogales Ranger District.


The Cumero fire is burning in grass and brush from Cumero Mountain on Coronado National Forest into Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge the interior of Mexico. Today, the incident received a light rain on the fire, minimizing fire activity. Firefighters took advantage of the weather and were able to secure a line around the fire perimeter and are actively working on mop up and securing the fire edge.


On July 5, 2018 a smoke was reported to the southeast of Sasabe, AZ along the US and Mexico border. The Cumero fire is burning in grass from Cumero Mountain to the interior of Mexico.

Today the west side of the fire held with most activity on Cumero Mountain.  The incident exhibited moderate fire behavior, but with a direct suppression strategy growth was minimal. Firefighters are actively working to suppress and secure the fire’s perimeter.  Aerial resources are being utilized.



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