Tonto National Forest
U.S. Forest Service
2324 E. McDowell Rd
Phoenix, AZ 85006
The Woodbury Fire Moves Into Chaparral Fuels
The following actions were successfully completed today:
• Fire was kept east of the Superstition Wilderness boundary and south of State Highway 88 on the eastern and northern portions of the fire perimeter. The vegetation in this area is light flashy fuel of dead annual grass which burns rapidly and then tends to die out quickly.• Fire spread to the east today in chaparral brush type fuels. A large smoke column could be observed in the afternoon from fire in this fuel type.• Fire growth south of the Superstition Wilderness boundary was minimized along the southern edge of the fire’s perimeter. As on the western flank, these fuels were predominantly dead and dry annual grass.
A helicopter was used for aerial ignition Monday morning to begin a low intensity fire burn out in the Reavis Ranch area to reduce fuels in front of the advancing fire to protect the apple orchard and Medusa Tree. Subsequent helicopter observation by fire managers confirmed that action appears to have been successful. The huge juniper tree near the Reavis Ranch, sometimes called the Medusa Tree, and the orchard both appear intact. The fire had moved beyond this area by late afternoon today.
The fire moved easterly today into pockets of heavy chaparral vegetation north and east of Iron Mountain that have been unburned for many decades. A smoke column observed today over the fire was from that area.
No immediate threat exists for communities around the fire however, fire fighters continue to improve barriers and provide structure preparations as contingencies.
An aerial infrared camera survey will be conducted tonight to get an update on burned acreage.
Current closures: The Tonto National Forest has implemented a closure of the Superstition Wilderness and around the perimeter of the Woodbury Fire. For more detailed information go to: http://www.fs.usda.gov/alerts/tonto/alerts-notices/?aid=52969
Tonto National Monument will close effective 5p.m. today, June 18th. The Monument’s administration decided to close until conditions change to prepare for potential impacts from the Woodbury Fire.
State Highway 88 is closed from Needle Vista east to the junction of State Highway 88 and State Highway 188. This includes Tortilla Flat, Canyon Lake, Apache Lake, and campsites along State Highway 88.
The following areas remain open and accessible to the public: Lower Salt River, Saguaro Lake, Roosevelt Lake, Bartlett Lake, Tonto National Monument Visitor Center, Lost Dutchman State Park and Oak Flat Campground. Tonto National Forest Stage 1 Fire Restrictions are in place.