Coronado National Forest

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.

Location:

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.

Location:

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.

Location:

The Cumero fire is burning in the Nogales Ranger District of the Coronado National Forest, near Sasabe, Arizona.  On July 5, 2018 a smoke was reported to the southeast of Sasabe, along the US and Mexico border. The Cumero fire is burning in grass south of Cumero Mountain. The incident exhibits active fire behavior with substantial growth. The fire is currently straddling the international border with approximately 2,000 acres burning on each respective side. A direct suppression strategy is being taken at this time. Fire personnel are in assessing values at risk.

All offices of the Coronado National Forest will be closed on Monday, May 28, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. (The Sabino Canyon Visitor Center will remain open.) Business will resume Tuesday, May 29, during regular operating hours.

Despite the office closure, fire and recreation personnel and law enforcement officers will be on duty over the Memorial Day weekend for the safety of visitors.

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