White Mountain Apache Tribe is Conducting Prescribed Burns

Slash pile burning to begin on Friday, October 30, 2020 on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation 

The Bureau of Indian Affairs Fort Apache Agency Fire Management in coordination with the White Mountain Apache Tribe will conduct slash pile burn operations on Friday, October 30, 2020 within two burn units. If conditions are favorable they will continue treatment efforts throughout the weekend.  

Soldier Butte Burn Unit: The Soldier Butte burn unit is located about 6 miles east of McNary just north of Little Bear Lake.  There are two small burn blocks totaling 545 acres that are planned to be treated.   

Chuckbox Burn Unit: The Chuckbox burn unit is located northwest of Cibecue just along Whitetail Ridge.  The slash pile unit is 350 acres.  

Public and firefighter safety is always the number one priority in burning operations. Wind helps disperse smoke created during pile burning operations and snow helps keep the piles contained. Seeing flames and smoke, even after dark, is part of normal operations. This is one way that we can help reduce the buildup of fuels on the landscape under the safest conditions. 

Conditions are evaluated each day to determine if ignition will take place. Precipitation, wind, temperature, fuel moisture and staffing all play a part in when and whether ignition occurs. 

Nearby residents should expect smoke in the vicinity and drivers should pay extra attention while traveling through or adjacent to burn areas.  

All Prescribed Fire activity will be carefully monitored and will comply with smoke management guidelines to reduce the impact of smoke on local residents. If conditions become unfavorable prescribed burning efforts will be ceased to mitigate smoke impacts to the communities. 

If you have any questions regarding our upcoming prescribed burning efforts, you can call Candy Lupe, Public Information Officer at (928) 338-5425 or you can log onto BIA Fort Apache Agency’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/BIAFAAFireMgt

Stage 1 Fire Restrictions for Navajo and Apache County

Stage 1 fire restrictions starting Friday October 23rd at 12:01 a.m.

                Holbrook, AZ – On Monday October 19th, the voting members of the White Mountain Fire Coordinating Group, met to discuss the current conditions of the forests throughout the region. At that meeting the members voted to recommend the enactment fire restrictions throughout Apache and Navajo Counties. Conditions similar to what we are experiencing now are historically seen in the summer months. Forest conditions are drier at this point in the year than they have ever been in historically. Therefore, Stage 1 Fire Restrictions will go into effect throughout unincorporated areas of both Apache and Navajo County on Friday October 23rd, 2020 at 12:01 a.m.

Under Stage 1 Fire Restrictions The following acts are prohibited until further notice:

  1. Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire or campfire (unless noted in the exemptions below).
  2. Smoking outside of designated areas.
  3. Use of any and all fireworks.
  4. Use of explosive targets.
  5. Use of tracer round ammunition.

Exemptions:

*An exemption does not absolve an individual or organization from liability or responsibility for any fire started by the exempted activity.

  1. Persons obtaining a written “Special Use Permit” from the “Authority Having Jurisdiction” that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act.
  2. Fires used only for the cooking of food or for providing warmth for human beings or for recreational purposes (campfires and charcoal fires) in an area that is designated for that purpose and is barren or cleared of all debris for 3 feet in diameter around the device. Permissible items include propane fire rings, pellet stoves/smokers/grills that have UL or FM approval and are a contained unit. A person of appropriate age must maintain a presence at all times when in operation.
  3. Smoking within enclosed buildings and inside vehicles is allowed. Smoking may also be allowed in or on porches, carports, garages, parking lots and other areas or properties which are cleared of all combustible materials so long as the smoking does not create a substantial risk of fire and all smoking materials are properly extinguished and disposed of. At no time is it allowed to discard lit cigarettes, cigars, or other smoking materials from a vehicle, or from ones’ possession in a public place. ARS 13-1603.a.1
  4. Persons using a device solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off.  Such devices with UL and/or FM approval can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the device. A person of appropriate age must always maintain a presence with the device when in operation.
  5. Persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written posted notice.
  6. Emergency repair of public utilities and railroads as per attached conditions.
  7. Any Federal, State, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.
  8. All land within a city boundary is exempted unless otherwise stated by city ordinance.
  9. Other exemptions unique to each “Authority Having Jurisdiction”.

Fires used only for the cooking of food or for providing warmth for human beings or recreational purposes (campfires and charcoal fires) in an area that is designated for that purpose and is barren or cleared of all debris. 

Persons using a device solely fueled by liquid petroleum or LPG fuels that can be turned on and off.  Such devices can only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within three feet of the device.

Persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written posted notice.

Any Federal, State, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.

All land within a city boundary is exempted unless otherwise stated by city ordinance.

Other exemptions unique to each agency/tribe.