Red Flag conditions tested fire control efforts yesterday as winds blew embers across the fire lines and caused a few small spot fires that were rapidly mitigated. Despite strong gusty winds and dry conditions, the size of the fire did not increase. Critical pieces of fire line were completed, and prior burnout operations have improved control measures. Today, firefighters will monitor the fires movement into Bonito Creek and develop a plan for control lines there. Crews will also patrol previous burnout operations while monitoring fire movement along the 70F road.
A Red Flag Warning is in effect today from 10 am to 8 pm and is due to critical fire weather conditions that are either occurring or are imminent. A combination of strong winds and low relative humidities can contribute to extreme fire behavior.
The junction of Y70/Y40, R55/R32, and R55/Y20 roads are closed due to fire activity.
An approaching cold front will bring gusty winds up to 55 mph and dry conditions through this afternoon with a high of 60 degrees.
Values at risk
Fire fighter and public safety are the top priorities for the incident management team. The Bonito Rock fire area includes important lands to the White Mountain Apache people. Firefighters are working to protect commercial timberlands, watersheds, rangelands, heritage sites, and recreation and wilderness areas.
Smoke may be visible from Whiteriver and along U.S. 60 and 260. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures.
Location of Origin: 15 miles southeast of Whiteriver, Arizona
Start Date: April 19, 2021
Size: 1,800 Acres
Cause: Under investigation
Percent Contained: 10
Fuels: Timber (Litter and Understory), Brush (2 feet)
Resources Assigned: 5 Type 6 Engines, 1 Type 4 Engine, 2 Dozers, 2 Interagency Hotshot Crews, 3 Initial Attack Crews, 1 Type 2 Crew, 9 Water Tenders, 2 type 1 Helicopter, 1 Type 3 Helicopter, and other miscellaneous incident management overhead.
Official fire information
Apache-Sitgreaves website: https://www.fs.usda.gov/news/asnf/news-events
ADEQ Air Quality Information: https://azdeq.gov/node/7077
Red Flag Warning: https://www.weather.gov/fgz/