Critical fire activity mitigated at Rattlesnake Fire

April 28, 2018 - 11:49 am

The Rattlesnake Fire is located approximately 43 miles southeast of Whiteriver, 20 miles southwest of Alpine, and over 50 miles northwest of San Carlos, burning on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, San Carlos Indian Reservation and the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.

The Rattlesnake Fire is about 46 percent contained and approximately 25,850 acres in size. Resources include approximately 522 personnel.

TEAM TRANSITION: Today at 6:00pm the Rattlesnake Fire, managed by Incident Management Team 5, IC Jeff Andrews, will transition to two Type 3 Incident Management Teams, IC Chris Johnson and IC Keith Burnett. Critical containment lines and fire activity have been mitigated to allow for the teams to right size their organizational structures and return the fire back to Type 3 Teams. The number of personnel assigned to the fire will also continue to decrease as needs dictate. The Type 3 Team Information Officers will continue to update information daily to the communities.

FIRE ACTIVITY: Yesterday aerial ignitions were utilized to continue to reduce flammable ground vegetation in inaccessible areas. Cooler temperatures kept fire activity at a moderate level, successfully and safely reducing fuel loads. This tool is used in areas where access is dangerous and sometimes inaccessible by crews. Since the fire burned at a low to moderate intensity there is less fire damage to the landscape then if it burned with higher intensity and severity.

WEATHER: There is a 30% chance of thunderstorms, lightning and gusty winds expected in the fire area on Saturday. A Fire Weather Watch is in effect for Sunday. Continue to be vigilant in your communities. Conditions right now are equal to fire season in late June. Be prepared and have a plan for you, your family and your animals in case you would need to leave your home.

SAFETY: Residents are reminded to drive with caution in the fire area due to increased fire traffic as some crews are being demobilized and headed home.

ROAD AND AREA CLOSURES:  Closures are in place on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, White Mountain Apache Reservation and the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.  Visit the Rattlesnake Fire Inciweb page for details. 

FIRE RESTRICTIONS:  The Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests is currently in Stage 1 Fire Restrictions in order to reduce human-caused fires and protect public safety.  San Carlos Apache Reservation implemented Stage 2 Fire Restrictions on April 17, 2018.  Modified Stage 2 Fire Restrictions continue on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation

THANK YOU FOR YOUR HELP AND SUPPORT: On behalf of IMT5 we would like to thank the community for their support during the Rattlesnake Fire. Your continued encouragement to our fighter fighters is a very important part of their ability to go out day after day and face some very challenging and dangerous situations. The success of the mission is due to the combined efforts of local firefighting resources and community working together. Thank you again to the communities who have helped us get through this incident. Incident Management Team 5