The Deer Head Fire in the Rincon Mountains east of Tucson will be managed to benefit the landscape and reduce hazardous fuels, officials said.
The fire’s activity was mild because of the high humidity and rain. It had grown to about 115 acres as of Friday, according to a news release from Saguaro National Park officials.
The lightning-sparked wildfire was burning in steep terrain near Spud Rock Spring in the park. It was burning primarily ponderosa pine, oak and brush at about 7,500 feet. The area has burned about six times since the 1940s, the park said.
Fire officials observed the wildfire Thursday from an aircraft and decided to manage the fire to benefit the environment.
Officials closed several back-country trails in the Rincon Mountain District because of the wildfire.
Also, the following campgrounds in the park are closed: 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.
Firefighters will be using the historic Manning Camp, about a mile from the fire, as a base of operations while the fire is still burning. They will work to find natural fire breaks — like trails and rocky outcroppings — that can be used to limit the fire’s growth so it can be managed more effectively, the park said.
The firefighters will also be used, if needed, to protect any important areas, such as the Manning Camp.
Smoke may be visible primarily on the east side of Tucson, in Vail and in Benson. Smoke from the fire may settle on Tucson’s east side at night as the temperature cools, but should lift during the day, park officials said.
For information about the closures, go to the park’s Facebook page at www.facebook.com/saguaronationalpark.