Bonito Rock Fire Grows In Southeastern Arizona

By Vaughan Jones
Published: Sunday, April 25, 2021 - 4:35pm

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Bonito Rock Fire
Inciweb
The Bonito Rock Fire has been burning on the Fort Apache Reservation.

The Bonito Rock Fire has been burning on the Fort Apache Reservation in southeastern Arizona since April 19.

The fire is currently burning in a northeast direction, toward Bonito Creek. Incident expert Steve Johnson says firefighting crews are looking to use the creek as a barrier, and tie the fire into the fire scar from the 2020 Lofer fire.

“It's a strategic advantage to be able to try to tie in your fireline with that, because it's a fire that's already burnt. So it's kind of just like tying it into a road or tying it into a creek, it’s kind of a fire barrier, if you will,” said Johnson.

Johnson says the White Mountain Apache Tribe has areas of significance close to the fire.

“They have prime hunting areas, they have lots of Timberland active timber sales that go on there that there's a lot to help support the economy of the White Mountain Apache Tribe,” said Johnson.

Johnson says these areas, as well as heritage sites, are not in direct danger at this moment, and firefighters are working to prevent the fire from moving closer to them.

The cause of the fire is currently unknown. It has grown by about 600 acres this weekend, and high winds and low humidity may facilitate further growth.

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