Deer Head Fire Continues to Meet Objectives

Before and After - SAGU Fire Effects Monitoring Plot (05-21-2014 & 08-03-2014)
Fire Effects Monitoring Plot Burned by Deer Head Fire in Saguaro National Park (see full description below)

NPS Photo

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News Release Date: August 9, 2014

Contact: Fire Information Hotline, (520) 733-5150

Tucson, AZ – The Deer Head Fire remains approximately 1,076 acres. This surface fire continues to benefit a fire-adapted ecosystem, burning in a mixture of brush, grass, and ponderosa pine and oak litter with low to moderate intensity. Increasing moisture and humidity have slowed the fire's progression in recent days and similar conditions are expected to persist throughout the weekend. 


Firefighters continue to direct the fire's spread away from important resources such as the historic Manning Camp. On Saturday, crews are conducting burnout operations on the fire's south perimeter as part of the strategy of keeping the fire east of Heartbreak Ridge, and will begin assessing and mapping areas, including fire lines, which will need to be rehabilitated later on. A Type 3 helicopter continues to fly reconnaissance missions, ferry supplies to firefighters and support firefighters with water drops from a bucket. Fifty-two personnel are assigned to the fire.


The National Park Service is managing the lightning caused fire, which is located in the federally-designated Wilderness area of the Rincon Mountain District of Saguaro National Park, for multiple objectives, including natural resource benefits, such as improving wildlife habitat and reducing hazardous fuels. The fire is improving habitat for the Mexican spotted owl, and providing the park with excellent data with which to better understand the role that fire has historically played in this ecosystem.


All Rincon Mountain District backcountry closures will remain in effect for the duration of the Deer Head Fire to ensure public safety.


For additional fire information visit: or: or call the Fire Information Hotline at (520) 733-5150.


Photo Caption and Description:

Fire Effects Monitoring Plot Burned by Deer Head Fire in Saguaro National Park

The photos illustrate how fire reduces hazardous fuels and its regenerative role.  The plot shown is one of several used to monitor the effects of prescribed fire in Saguaro National Park, to determine whether objectives are met. The image shows a photo of one, such, plot taken on May 21, 2014 (left), to determine the forest's status 10 years after a 1994 prescribed burn, and again, taken by four firefighters with training and experience in fire effects monitoring, on August 3, 2014 (right), after having been burned by the lightning-caused Deer Head Fire on July 31, 2014.


Last updated: February 24, 2015

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