MOUNT GRAHAM — As the monsoons creep closer, the Gila Valley saw an impressive lightning display Saturday night. But that display also highlighted a seasonal danger as lightning sparked a wildfire on Mount Graham.
The lightning-caused Van Valer fire, burning in grass and brush below West Peak (the fire was named after nearby Van Valer Canyon), was reported just after 5 p.m. Saturday. Resources sent to combat the fire Saturday included two single engine air tankers, a T3 helicopter and a T1 crew (Geronimo).
According to the Southwest Coordination Center, the fire was estimated at 500 acres. On Sunday morning, a Type 3 Incident Management Team was called in.
The U.S. Forest Service-Coronado National Forest said no structures were threatened and that firefighters were working full suppression with crews, engines and air tankers.