Tonto National Forest has released the following update on the Pinal Fire, which is burning in the Pinal Mountain near Pioneer Pass, roughly six miles south of Globe. The fire was caused by lightning and is currently 0 percent contained. The size of the acre was less than 1 acre as of this morning.
Resources on Fire: The fire is currently being managed by fire managers from the Tonto National Forest. There are four crews, four engines, and a total of 104 firefighters assigned to the incident.
Crews are currently clearing vegetation from road systems, raking pine needles away from houses, electronic sites, and range improvements, and sawing lower limbs from trees to reduce ladder fuels. These actions will secure the fireline boundary and minimize the change of structures being damaged by fire.
Fuels: The fire is currently burning in ponderosa pine needles and oak litter. The vegetation surrounding the fire origin is pine, oak brush, manzanita, and snowberry. Proceeding up the mountain towards Signal and Pinal Peaks, there is more pine, fir, and aspen.
Fire Behavior: The fire has experienced very little movement in the last 3 days, but it is currently creeping and smoldering in the pine needles. With recent rain and snow, flame lengths are 4-6 inches in height, with most fire spread happening in the afternoon. Fire spread has been minimal overnight.
Fire History: Wildfire last burned in this area in 1952. Fire managers are aware of the natural fire frequency of that landscape, recognizing that it has been a long time since fire burned there. Efforts will be made to encourage low intensity surface fire to reduce potential future severe effects of wildfire that could result from erosion, negatively effecting the community water shed and other unintended consequences from wildfire, creating a landscape resilient to wildfire disturbance and reduced risk to communities.
Values at Risk: Summer homes are in the vicinity of the wildfire area. District crews intend to protect those homes through mechanical treatment and brush removal using chain saws and chippers. Other Values at Risk include multiple electronic and communication towers, a Forest Service lookout, recreation campgrounds, and Mexican Spotted owl habitat.
Weather: Weather over the next two days will be dry and sunny. Winds will be relatively light with evening downslope winds and daytime upslope winds from the northwest at 6 to 13. Maximum temperatures today will be 65-69 degrees and Relative Humilities 37 to 42%.
Restrictions & Closures: None at this time.
Special Concerns: Firefighter & public safety is the priority. Firefighting aircraft cannot fly if drones or remote control aircraft are in the air. Do not fly such aircraft within the temporary flight restriction area.