Current Tonto National Forest Fire Information

Blazing fire in trees with road down the middle

For information about fires on the Tonto National Forest, view our news releases on the News & Events page.

Check the status of current fires on the Tonto National Forest, in Arizona, and throughout the country.

Fire Information, Prevention & Education

Forests & Rangelands (National Fire Plan)

National Interagency Fire Center (NIFC)

Firewise - The Wildland/Urban Interface

Be Responsible With Your Campfire

Prepare Your Site - Find a level spot away from overhanging branches, brush, or dry grass. Keep away from the base of a hill. Escaped fires travel uphill fast. With a shovel, clear a circle 10 feet wide down to bare dirt. Hollow out a fire pit 6 inches deep and 2 feet across at the center of the cleared circle. Pile the dirt around the fire pit. Keep your fire small. Use existing fire rings where available to reduce the number of disturbed areas and damage to soil cover and vegetation.

Beware of the Duff - Duff is the layer of decomposing wood material that lies on the forest floor between pine needles and bare dirt. Many times it may look like dirt, but it isn't. Duff burns, dirt doesn't. It allows even the smallest ember to smolder for days, most times underground and unnoticed, until enough heat is built up to produce flames. Don't let the duff fool you.

Attend to Your Fire - Never leave your campfire unattended, even for a few minutes or if you take a nap.

Keep your Fire Small - Weenies, marshmallows and ghost stories all go better with a small manageable fire. Large, 3-foot or higher bonfires are not appropriate, practicable or smart in the forest.

Drown the Fire - Drown your campfire at least 30 minutes before you break camp and before you go to bed each night. Never allow your campfire to burn down on its own. Use your shovel to separate the burning pieces of wood in the fire pit and make sure they are soaked with water.

Stir and Mix - Stir and mix water with the ashes until the fire is out. Don't try to bury the fire under dirt, it can smolder for hours and then escape.

Drown Briquettes - Charcoal briquettes should be extinguished by dumping into a pail of water, mixing thoroughly, and then place into the fire pit.

Feel the Ashes - Feel the ashes to be sure the fire is out. Before you leave the campsite, check the area within 50 feet of the fire for sparks or embers that may have escaped.

It Can Cost You - You will be held liable for the cost of suppression and damages caused by any wildfire that starts through negligence on your part.

Come Prepared - Obtain your campfire permit, bring your shovel, and a pail for water. In areas where there is not a source for water, carry in extra water if you plan to have a campfire

Fire Danger Levels Explained

Sample fire danger meterWhat are the different levels and what do they mean?

We use 5 different color-coded levels to help the public understand fire potential. The purpose of this is for visitors to understand the current conditions and help mitigate their actions to prevent human-caused wildfires.

  • Low

    When the fire danger is "Low," it means that fuels do not ignite easily from small embers, but a more intense heat source, such as lightning, may start fires in duff or dry rotten wood. Fires in open, dry grasslands may burn easily a few hours after a rain, but most wood fires will spread slowly, creeping or smoldering. Control of fires is generally easy.

  • Moderate

    When the fire danger is "Moderate," it means that fires can start from most accidental causes, but the number of fire starts is usually pretty low. If a fire does start in an open, dry grassland, it will burn and spread quickly on windy days. Most wood fires will spread slowly to moderately. Average fire intensity will be moderate except in heavy concentrations of fuel, which may burn hot. Fires are still not likely to become serious and are often easy to control.

  • High

    When the fire danger is "High," fires can start easily from most causes, and small fuels (such as grasses and needles) will ignite readily. Unattended campfires and brush fires are likely to escape. Fires will spread easily, with some areas of high-intensity burning on slopes or concentrated fuels. Fires can become serious and difficult to control unless they are put out while they are still small.

  • Very high

    When the fire danger is "Very High," fires will start easily from most causes. The fires will spread rapidly and have a quick increase in intensity, right after ignition. Small fires can quickly become large fires and exhibit extreme fire intensity, such as long-distance spotting and fire whirls. These fires can be difficult to control and will often become much larger and longer-lasting fires.

  • Extreme

    When the fire danger is "Extreme," fires of all types start quickly and burn intensely. All fires are potentially serious and can spread very quickly with intense burning. Small fires become big fires much faster than at the "Very High" level. Spot fires are probable, with long-distance spotting likely. These fires are very difficult to fight and may become very dangerous and often last for several days or weeks





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