Authorities say a Glendale teenager has pleaded guilty to starting three small fires last year in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest and been ordered to pay $75,000 in restitution.

The Coconino County Sheriff's Office says the 16-year-old boy pleaded guilty to one count of reckless burning with two counts being dismissed. The first fire started on May 27, 2018, and burned about 11 acres before crews contained it.


A wildfire in east-central Arizona near Superior continues to grow and remains uncontained.

The blaze called the “Woodbury” wildfire has been burning for a week in the Tonto National Forest has charred about 57 square miles of grass and brush in rugged terrain as of Sunday. The human-caused fire has tripled in size since Friday because of hot and dry conditions.

Authorities say there are no immediate threats to the communities of Queen Valley Estates, Gold Canyon, Kings Ranch, Superior and Apache Junction.

Brady Smith / USDA Forest Service, Coconino National Forest.

Two years ago last June, the Shultz Fire filled the skies north of Flagstaff with smoke. By the time it was controlled, 15,000 acres of Coconino National Forest land had burned including the ponderosa pines that would have absorbed much of the subsequent rainfall. A month later monsoon rains drenched the area

Two different 200-acre prescribed burns are scheduled in Prescott National Forest this week.

US Forest Service

New Mexico’s largest ever wildfire is still growing. Last year the Forest Service spent one point four billion dollars fighting fires. They expect to spend that much or more this year containing these so-called “mega fires.”

Forest Ecologist Wally Covington says several factors have led up to what he calls a crisis. In the late 1800s cattle overgrazed and left the landscape bare -- so no small plants to keep fires on the ground. Also, for a long time fire was seen as the enemy so forests grew thick.