The Arizona Central West Zone Type Three Incident Management Team has been asked to assist with the management of two lightning caused fires on San Carlos Apache tribal lands. The team arrived on Sunday, June 7, to begin the transition and brief with tribal forestry staff and firefighters currently on the fires. The team will assist with the complex intersection of fire suppression as the San Carlos Apache reservation remains under an active stay-at-home order due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The team is working to ensure all fire resources responding to the two incidents are meeting the requirements of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) as well as the standards set by the San Carlos Apache Tribe Emergency Response Commission as it relates to COVID-19 pandemic. The team is also assisting with the logistical support of firefighters while they are working in rough and remote locations. All firefighters and team members are temperature tested before entering tribal lands, and firefighters will be “spiked-out”, camping in designated areas in remote areas safely adjacent to the fires.
The team members assisting with incident support will be working remotely from Globe. Firefighters will be fed and supported at their remote spike camps by local drivers that meet the tribal COVID-19 testing requirements. They will be delivering food and supplies several times a day. The team will be sourcing as much as they can locally from area businesses.
The two fires started from a thunderstorm that passed through the area on June, 5, 2020. The fires continue to push north/northeast with strong and gusty winds influenced by the terrain. The smoke from these fires has settled into San Carlos area at night and has been blowing into the Fort Apache Indian Reservation during the day and changes as the winds shift. Fire managers are coordinating closely with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to monitor smoke any smoke impacts communities.
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