Fire Stories

Fire stories from the national parks highlight events, incidents, and the like, associated with fire and fuels management, as well as fire education, technology, partnerships, and more. Stories highlight work related to Department of the Interior initiatives as well as local and regional initiatives.

Fire is a natural and essential renewal process in the forested ecosystems of Saguaro National Park.

Telegraph Fire

Saguaro National Park, Arizona
National Fire Plan, Fuels Reduction*

The lightning-ignited Telegraph Fire was discovered on July 18, 2009. Firefighters monitored the fire from the air and on the ground as it progressed naturally, clearing vegetation on the forest floor. The fire posed no threat to life or property and no trail closures were necessary.

The 62-acre fire crept and smoldered for just over a month before it was extinguished naturally by repeated rains. The fire was located in the Saguaro Wilderness of the Rincon Mountains where it functioned in its natural role, helping reduce fuel loads and maintain wildlife habitat. Vegetation in the area included ponderosa pine and oak brush.

Fire is a natural and essential renewal process in the forested ecosystems of Saguaro National Park. Plants and animals in this area have coexisted with fire for thousands of years and many have become dependent upon fire to create the conditions that they need to flourish. Saguaro National Park was one of the first national parks in the country to manage natural ignitions for the benefit of natural resources, beginning in 1971.

Contact: Perry Grissom, Fire Ecologist
Phone: (520) 733-5134

*This story supports the Department of the Interior initiatives.