Deer Head fire increases in size due to dry weather

Posted: Updated:
(Source: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/) (Source: http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/)
Deer Head fire as seen from Mescal in early afternoon. (Source: National Park Service) Deer Head fire as seen from Mescal in early afternoon. (Source: National Park Service)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The Deer Head fire in the Rincon Mountains is now at 650 acres, according to National Park Service officials. 

Rain over the past weekend produced only a small amount of water and NPS officials were anticipating the increase in fire activity due to drier weather during the week.  Crews are working to create a buffer zone around the fire and reinforce the fire line, according to the release; these steps will help create a safety zone for firefighters, keep the fire from spreading, as well as protect sensitive wildlife habitat. NPS officials are saying a plan is in place to protect Manning Camp, should the fire move in that direction.  

The fire is being managed, said NPS officials to help rid the area of excess pine needles, leaves, grass as well as downed logs and shrubs.  Many of the plants in the area will survive, those that do not will be replaced with new plant growth that thrives in increased light. Officials anticipate the fire will eventually work itself out as it reaches natural boundaries and burns into areas that have previously burned. 

The following closures will remain in place, as the fire burns, to ensure public safety. Trail closures include Italian Spring (south of Park boundary), Cowhead Saddle, North Slope, Fire Loop, Spud Rock, Switchback, Mica Mountain, Mica Meadow, Bonita, Devils Bathtub, East Slope, Deerhead Spring, Turkey Creek (west of Park boundary), Miller Creek (west of park boundary), Heartbreak Ridge, and Manning Camp (east of Douglas Springs intersection). This includes a segment of the Arizona Trail: Italian Spring Trail at the park boundary extending to the Douglas Spring-Manning Camp Trail intersection), Campground closures within the park include Manning Camp, Grass Shack, Happy Valley, and Spud Rock. All off-trail areas within Saguaro National Park east of Douglas Spring Trail and Manning Camp Trails are also closed. 

Smoke may be visible from Tucson, Vail and surrounding communities and may occasionally settle in the east side of Tucson when temperatures cool at night and in the early morning hours.  

For more information please go online to http://inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/3999/, or http://Facebook.com/SaguaroNationalPark or call (520) 733-5150. 

Copyright 2014 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved. 

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