The Pinal Fire which began on May 8th due to a lightening strike is a controlled burn which now covers over 1400 acres. It is being allowed to burn underbrush which has accumulated in the area for nearly 65 years since the last fire in 1952. Eliminating such volatile fuels in a controlled burn is expected to reduce the risk of a major out-of-control wildfire like the ones we have seen in this state over the last ten years and make the forest more resilient.
According to many industry professionals, the build up of such fuels has historically been a result of nearly a century of fire suppression and land-use choices that have reduced fire on the landscape. It is a combination of both climate change and these factors which have led to the monster wildfires which threaten lives and destroy property.
Andrew Mandell, the Incident Commander who has been brought in to lead the effort will hold a community meeting on Sunday at 3 p.m. at High Desert Middle School to update residents on the fire.
According to the May 20th Incident Report values at risk in the fire planning area include private land and recreation residences; electronic communication sites on Signal, Sulphide Del Ray, and Pinal Peaks; Forest Service structure, campgrounds and infrastructure; Mexican Spotted owl habitat and cultural and historical sites. Early efforts by fire crews cleared the ground around nearly two dozen structures.
Recreation sites and trails in the Pinal Mountains are closed including Kellner Group Campground, Pinal and Upper Pinal Campgrounds, Pioneer Pass and Icehouse CC Camp.
Location: Tonto National Forest, Globe Ranger District, 6 miles south of Globe in the Pinal Mountains near Pioneer Pass.
Get live updates here: https://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/5176/