BONITO ROCK FIRE ON THE FORT APACHE INDIAN RESERVATION 4/21/2021


Whiteriver, Arizona:  The Bonito Rock fire was detected on Monday afternoon, April 19, 2021.  The fire is located about 17 miles east of Whiteriver, just east of last year’s Lofer Fire.  The fire is currently at 149 acres.  The fire is burning in ponderosa pine and mixed conifer, within steep and rugged terrain adding complexity in efforts to control it. The cause of the fire is unknown and a fire investigator is on order.   

Resources on the fire include: 1 Type 1 Helicopter, Globe Hotshots, Tribal Fuels, 2 dozers, Fort Apache Fuels, 2 Type 3 Engines and other resources are on order. Fire behavior has been moderate, driven by terrain and winds. Yesterday, firefighters hiked over a mile to reach the fire. There are no nearby roads to access the fire. Today, fire personnel will scout the area and develop a strategy to control the fire.  The main concern for today is a combination of strong winds and low relative humidities, as it can contribute to extreme fire behavior.  

Road Closure: The Y70 road is closed due to fire activity.   

Values and Objectives: Firefighter and public safety is the number one priority for the Bonito Rock Fire.  All fire actions will be assessed in relation to protecting values and minimizing impacts on cultural resources, wildlife, rangeland, watersheds, and natural resources.   

Weather: Today, a red flag warning is in effect from 11 am to 8 pm due to strong winds and low relative humidity.  Industrial contractors within the boundaries of the Reservation are subject to shut down operations for short periods during such alerts. Campfires and debris burning will not be permitted. No smoking outside of buildings or vehicles will be permitted. Propane campfires or fire pits will not be permitted. Campfires are prohibited in undeveloped campgrounds and the public is reminded to be fire safe in developed campgrounds. Never leave a campfire unattended and be sure to drown your campfire with water and stir it up to suffocate any remaining heat. 

If you have any questions regarding the fire, you can call Candy Lupe, Public Information Officer at (928) 205-5662 or you can log onto BIA Fort Apache Agency’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/BIAFAAFireMgt