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 fire is and estimated 21,513 acres in size and approximately 32 percent contained.
The Rattlesnake Fire started on Wednesday, April 11. The fire is human caused and still under investigation. Resources include approximately 524 personnel.
Fire activity: On Tuesday burnout operations were completed along Forest Road 25 and the section of control line adjacent to Highway 191. Stands of mixed conifer are burning with greater intensity due to dry and locally windy weather conditions. The fire burned into a mixed conifer stand adjacent to Forest Road 25 causing spot fires across the control line. Crews continue working the spot fires to contain them. Fire managers plan on continuing burnout operations for the Rattlesnake Fire removing ground fuels adjacent to the control lines. Initial attack resources remain at the ready for immediate response.
Safety: ADOT personnel are in position to implement safety measures if the highway is affected by smoke and fire. Expected fire activities adjacent to Highway 191 and smoke from burnout operations have increased traffic congestion and reduced visibility. For public and firefighter safety motorists will be escorted on Highway 191 from Hannagan Meadows to the north and Stray Horse to the south for approximately 8 miles.
Weather: Warming trends continue to bring higher daytime temps, dryer relative humidity and light winds from the west. Up slope winds in the afternoon may increase fire activity. We expect smoke to drift to the east then potentially shift and settle into Eagle Creek, Blue River and San Francisco upper Gila River valleys overnight. Valley smoke should lift by 9 a.m.
Values: Resource advisors deployed on the Rattlesnake Fire are identifying values at risk so that firefighters can employ tactics to reduce impacts to threatened and endangered species and their habitat due to fire suppression activities.
Road and Area Closures: Closures are in place on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, White Mountain Apache Reservation and the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. They are being adjusted based on fire activity. Visit the Rattlesnake Fire Inciweb page for details.
Fire Restrictions: Monday the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests entered into 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.
BIA Fort Apache Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BIAFAAFireMgt/
Stage 1 Fire Restrictions: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/asnf/fire/?cid=fseprd538403
Arizona Department of Environmental Quality: https://www.phoenixvis.net/PPMmain.aspx