Fire Updates

Map of trails to be closed during the Mica prescribed fire
Mica Bowl Prescribed Fire Postponed Until Spring 2018

Fire managers at Saguaro National Park plan to conduct a prescribed burn on Mica Mountain in the Saguaro Wilderness of the Rincon Mountain District (Saguaro East) when conditions are favorable. The prescribed burn for Mica Bowl Units 3, 4 and 5 was originally planned for October 2018. However the area has recieved significant precipitation, so the project has been postponed until signficant drying occurs, likely sometime in the spring of 2019.

The Mica Bowl Prescribed Burn area is divided into several burn units. Up to 280 acres may be treated with prescribed fire. Ignitions may continue for approximately three to five days

The following backcountry trails will be closed during prescribed burn operations:
- Bonita Trail
- Spud Rock (between the junctions of Mica Mountain and Fire Loop)
- Mica Mountain
- Mica Meadow
- Fire Loop (between the junctions of Heartbreak Ridge and Italian Spring)
- *Arizona Trail / Fire Loop (between the junctions of Spud Rock & Italian Spring- indicated by yellow line on map)
*Arizona Trail hikers should plan for temporary delays; however, fire managers will escort Arizona Trail hikers through this area when it is safe to do so, but minor delays and temporary diversions should be expected. Trail closures will be assessed daily and will most likely be in effect for 3 - 5 days following prescribed fire ignitions.
Availability at the backcountry Manning Camp campground will be limited during the prescribed burn.

Due to the location of the burn on the highest peak of the Rincon Mountains, smoke will be visible from Tucson, Redington Pass, Benson, and Happy Valley during the prescribed burn. Smoke may temporarily drift downhill overnight in the Redington, Rincon Creek, and San Pedro River Valley drainages.

Smoke is expected to be present on the backcountry trails in the Mica Mountain area for at least a week or until significant precipitation occurs. Campers at the Mica Mountain and Spud Rock campgrounds should expect moderate to heavy smoke, especially during the early morning hours for three to five days following ignitions.

Vegetation in the area is predominately ponderosa pine. Elevation in the area ranges from approximately 7,950 to 8,670 feet. Lightning-ignited fires have historically burned through the high elevation ponderosa pine forests of southeastern Arizona, but past fire suppression has created unnatural conditions with build-ups of downed trees and dense underbrush in many places. Fire managers use low to moderate intensity prescribed fires to maintain healthy forests in the Rincon Mountains and to prevent large intense wildfires.

Updates will be posted here. If you have questions, you can call 520-400-2932 to speak with a public information officer.

Fire Information
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Return to Saguaro National Park Fire Management

Smokey Bear says "Only You Can Prevent Wildfires"
Smokey Bear says "Only YOU can prevent wildfires."

Wildfire Prevention

  • Campfires are only permitted in established fire rings in designated wilderness campsites, government provided grills, or self-contained grills or stoves in designated picnic areas and campgrounds. (No government-provided grills are present at Douglas Springs and Grass Shack campgrounds; fires are prohibited at these locations.) No other fires are allowed in either district.
  • Dead wood on the ground may only be collected for use as fuel for campfires within the park in the following areas: within ½ mile of Manning Camp, Spud Rock, Juniper Basin and Happy Valley wilderness campgrounds.
  • Fires must never be left unattended and must be completely extinguished upon departure.If it's too hot to touch, it's too hot to leave! Stir, drown, and repeat until cold.
  • If you smoke, please practice Leave No Trace principles by packing out cigarette butts.
  • Use and possession of fireworks if prohibited year-round.

Fire Restrictions

Tips for Enjoying the Outdoors Safely During Fire Season

One Less Spark Means One Less Wildfire


Last updated: October 17, 2018

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Mailing Address:

3693 S Old Spanish Trail
Tucson , AZ 85730


(520) 733-5153

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