Saguaro National Park has postponed plans for a prescribed burn on Mica Mountain in the Rincon Mountain District to later this summer or fall when conditions are favorable, likely between July 15 and the end of September.
Prescribed Fire Planned in Rincon Mountain District Postponed Until Late Summer or Early Fall
The Mica Bowl Prescribed Burn area is divided into several burn units. Up to 623 acres may be treated with prescribed fire. Ignitions may continue for approximately five to seven days. Fire managers will only conduct the prescribed burn when environmental factors such as wind, temperature, and relative humidity are favorable.
The backcountry Manning Camp campground will be temporarily closed during the prescribed burn and all Arizona Trail hikers should plan to through hike.
Arizona Trail and other backcountry hikers are advised temporary delays and detours may be possible on the following trails during prescribed burn operations: Italian Spring (south of Park boundary), Cowhead Saddle (from the North Slope junction to Manning Camp), North Slope, Fire Loop, Mica Mountain, Mica Meadow, Bonita.
Smoke will be visible from Redington Pass, Benson, and Happy Valley. Due to the location of the burn on the highest peak of the Rincon Mountains, smoke may be visible at times from parts of the Tucson Basin. Smoke may temporarily drift downhill overnight in the Redington, Rincon Creek, and San Pedro River Valley drainages.
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.
Fire Information on Inciweb
Arizona Fire Information
Southwest Coordination Center Fire Information (Saguaro National Park = AZ-SAP)
National Fire Information