Weimer Fire Update – July 5, 2024

Black Mesa Ranger District

SPRINGERVILLE, Ariz. – July. 05, 2024 – The lightning caused Weimer fire burning north of Forest Lakes and west of Heber-Overgaard has grown to approximately 500 acres. Additional firefighting resources have been dispatched to the incident, and include: four engines, three initial attack crews, two dozers, and a helicopter. The Weimer fire, detected on July 2, is burning within the Wagon Draw fire scar from 2009.
Operations: Fire crews completed firing operations off the dozer line on the north side of the Weimer fire yesterday by igniting available fuels near control lines to reinforce them. Firefighters will continue to prep Forest Road (FR) 170 today and perform ignitions along containment lines when conditions permit.

Smoke: As a result of ignitions, smoke is expected to increase today and will be visible from Highways 260, 277, and the communities of Forest Lakes and Heber/Overgaard. Drivers are cautioned that smoke may impact visibility near Forest Road (FR) 170, FR 99, Chevelon Canyon, Forest Lakes, and Highway 260. Air quality information is available at https://www.airnow.gov/.

Closures: To provide for public and firefighter safety a temporary closure of a portion of FR 170 near the fire area is closed today. The public will be notified via signage and an Alert message on our website.

Value at Risk: There are no structures, homes, or infrastructure threatened at this time.

Safety: There are no evacuations at this time.

Weather: The forecast is calling for sunny skies, a high of 85 degrees, and northeast winds 10 to 15 mph.

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Stage 2 Fire Restrictions Rescinded July 1, 2024 at 5 p.m.

For Immediate Release

Holbrook, AZ- On Monday, July 1, 2024, the White Mountain Fire Coordinating Group met to discuss the current fire restrictions. Upon review of current conditions, it was determined that the unincorporated areas of Apache and Navajo Counties, the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, State Trust lands and BLM, the cities/towns of Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside will rescind all fire restrictions beginning Monday, July 1, 2024 at 5 p.m.

At this time the White Mountain Apache Reservation remains in Stage 2 Fire Restrictions until the White Mountain Tribal Government is able to meet and confirm the recommendation by the BIA-Ft. Apache Agency to return to Stage 1 Fire Restrictions.

The decision to rescind fire restrictions included the analysis of several key data points including the energy release components (ERC) of the fuels in the region. The ERC is valuable in determining fire danger because it acts as a fuel moisture index for all types of live and dead fuels. It tells fire managers how hot and fast the fuels will burn. The ERC’s are now in approximately the 50th percentile or lower which is a good indicator of the fuel moisture content. Another key data set is the number of fires (human or natural caused) throughout the region, which have been minimal in previous weeks. In addition, the 6 to 10- day and monthly weather outlooks are also a deciding factor in restrictions and the projected weather forecast is for monsoon activity to continue across North Eastern Arizona. Finally, the group also assessed the availability of resources that would be called upon should a fire start.

All these pieces come together to form the deciding factors in entering or lifting fire restrictions and is a coordinated, regional effort. That being said, even with increased moisture across the region and more forecast in the future, it is imperative that our community members and visitors stay vigilant and follow good land stewardship practices that will ensure our forests, homes and businesses are protected year-round. Therefore, we ask that our residents and visitors continue to practice fire safety with campfires and debris burning. Never leave a fire of any kind unattended. When extinguishing any fire, be sure to drown it with water, stir the water in, and feel the area with the back of your hand for any heat, repeating as necessary to ensure the fire is completely out.

The White Mountain Fire Coordinating Group would like to thank all of our residents and visitors for their compliance to fire restrictions, together we are able to keep our communities safer.

To stay up to date on all fire restrictions, please visit 311info.net and click on the Fire Restrictions tab or contact your local fire department/district.

Stage 2 Fire Restrictions go into effect Friday, June 21, 2024 at 8:00 a.m.

For Immediate Release 6/17/2024

Holbrook, AZ- The White Mountain Fire Coordinating group met today to discuss current conditions of the forest as well as the surrounding communities and have made the decision to enter into Stage 2 fire restrictions due to an increase in temperatures and continued drying conditions. The following actions were determined:

  • The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest will enter Stage 2 Fire Restrictions beginning Friday, June 21, 2024 at 8:00 a.m.
  • State Trust lands and BLM will enter Stage 2 Fire Restrictions beginning Friday, June 21, 2024 at 8:00 a.m.
  • Navajo and Apache Counties will enter Stage 2 Fire Restrictions beginning Friday, June 21, 2024 at 8:00 a.m.
  • The cities/towns of Show Low and Pinetop-Lakeside will enter Stage 2 Fire Restrictions on Friday, June 21, 2024 at 8:00 a.m.
  • Fort Apache will enter Stage 2 Fire Restrictions on Friday, June 21, 2024 at 8:00 a.m.

Please remember, Stage 2 Fire Restrictions apply to EVERYONE, to include both visitors and local residents.

Though Stage 2 Fire Restrictions are similar across each jurisdiction, we recommend that everyone review the restrictions ahead of time- Know Before You Go! For a list of fire restrictions in each jurisdiction, please go to 311info.net and click on the Fire Restrictions tab or contact your local fire department/district. The 311info.net website will also be used to provide information on regional fires and emergencies as they occur. 

Other locations around Arizona, such as Coconino and Tonto Forests (and more) are also entering into fire restrictions. It is your responsibility to know restrictions wherever you choose to recreate.  To check restrictions around the state visit the Arizona Interagency Wildfire Prevention website at: https://wildlandfire.az.gov/fire-restrictions.