Campfire, smoking and target shooting restrictions on the Tonto National Forest have been lifted, effective at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, September 24, 2019. The fire restrictions, which covered the entire forest, are no longer needed because fire danger has been reduced by recent rain and increased humidity levels. Campfires and smoking are now allowed throughout the forest. Target shooting is also once again allowed in dispersed areas where it can be conducted safely, but remains prohibited in areas close to homes and developed recreations areas of the Tonto National Forest.
Tonto National Forest
The Redmond and River Fires, both started by lightning, on the evening of Tuesday, September 3 are nearing containment and minimal fire activity is visible.
The Redmond Fire, burning north of Globe, reached 920 acres before firefighters received help from rain falling on the fire area. Firefighters will continue to patrol the area, and monitor fire activity as the weather returns to warmer and drier conditions. Forest Roads 223 and 644 remain temporarily closed to the public.
Today firefighters completed burnout operations along Forest Road 17 on top of New River Mesa which helped secure the eastern flank of the fire. The increase in acreage today was the result of unburned pockets of fuel being consumed within the fire perimeter.
Crews will continue to monitor and reinforce containment lines in preparation for thunderstorms which are forecasted for the area on Sunday and Monday.
Motorists are asked to be aware of their surroundings and slow down for fire vehicles on Seven Springs Road.
The River Fire grew to approximately 6,880 acres overnight, with the growth occurring within planned containment lines. Crews were successful in holding the fire between Forest Road 41 and Forest Road 17 on the northeast side of the fire. Crews extended burnout operations along Forest Road 17 back to the southwest on top of New River Mesa.
Today firefighters will work to reinforce containment lines in preparation for thunderstorms which are forecasted for the area on Sunday and Monday.
The River Fire grew to approximately 4,800 acres today, crews successfully held the fire between Forest Road 41 and Forest Road 17. Most of the growth was on the northeast side of the fire as crews completed burnout operations ahead of the main fire.
Airtankers were used to support burnout operations and helicopters were also utilized to extinguish hot spots along the fire’s edge.
The lack of summer monsoon activity has prompted The Tonto National Forest to lift the Woodbury Fire Area Closure effective at 6:00 am on Friday, September 6, 2019. Monsoon storms are still attempting to form and could produce locally heavy rain, so be alert and stay out of dry washes and low lying areas if a thunderstorm is visible in the distance. Please read and heed all warning signs within the Woodbury Fire Area in the Superstition Mountains.
Summary: The River Fire grew approximately 1,000 acres yesterday and overnight, and continues to burn on New River Mesa north toward Forest Road 41, away from communities and infrastructure. High heat and winds caused fire activity to increase. Fire crews worked through the night, conducting burnout operations ahead of the fire in an attempt to contain the fire south of Forest Road 41. Additional fire crews and aerial resources have been ordered to assist with the operations today.
The Redmond Fire continues to burn into the Salt River Wilderness Area north of Globe. The fire grew to nearly 800 acres on Wednesday, and is putting up smoke which can be seen from State Route 188, as well as US Highways 60 and 70. There has been minimal fire activity on the east side of the fire today, aided by higher humidity overnight. Firefighters are assessing control options to the east and south of the fire area. There are no threats near the fire.
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.