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Unit Information

San Carlos Agency
P. O. Box 209 San Carlos Arizona 85550
San Carlos , AZ 85550

This incident is no longer being updated.

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This will be the last update on the Whitetail fire.

Fire managers with the Central West Zone, Type 3 Incident Management Team are transitioning management of the Fire to a type 4 incident management team from the San Carlos Agency. Effective Tuesday June 30, 2015, at 6:00am. Incident Commanders Randy Hopkins and Jim Phillips will take charge of continued work.

Today fire managers continue to demobilized firefighters and support personnel from the fire. Resources left in place will continue to patrol and rehabilitate fire lines and roads used by firefighters.

The previous road closures have been lifted. Please use caution when driving on area roads; maintenance equipment and firefighters may still be encountered.

The departing Type 3 Incident Management Team, wish to thank their partners and appreciate the courtesy extended by the San Carlos Apache Tribe and community.


BIA Superintendent at briefing


Tribal Council member and Tribal Fire Liaison Simon Hooke
doing reconnaissance on the fires

The fire is being managed by the Central West Zone Type 3 team is staffed collaboratively by Central West Zone partners including San Carlos BIA and Tribe, Tonto National Forest, Phoenix Bureau of Land Management, and Arizona State Fire personnel. As trustees of the land, the San Carlos Apache Tribe and BIA emphasize land management objectives that prioritize actions that maintain their natural world as a trust resource protected for the future. The fire is being managed for multiple objectives including protection of valuable commercial timber resources, rangeland improvement, reintroduction of fire into fire adapted ecosystems, hazardous fuel reduction and ecosystem and wildlife habitat improvement. Management actions include improving roads, prepping, firing where appropriate and monitoring fire intensity, spread and effects. As a whole, the fire severity was low to moderate and resulted in a mosaic of burned and unburned patches.

2015_06_25- Getting ready 2015_06_25- Lift off


Fire managers are using the lightning-caused Whitetail and Sawmill Fires, located approximately 10 miles northeast of San Carlos, to improve resource conditions within the fires' perimeters.


The fires are fulfilling the natural and crucial role of fire in watershed health and fuels reduction. This vegetation type needs frequent, low severity fire to restore wildlife habitat, promote healthy vegetation, reduce fuels and the risk of severe fire, and create safer conditions for visitors and firefighters.


The fire may increase in size, but not severity. Firefighters have been conducting burnout operations to manage where and how the fires move through the landscape, maintaining a low to moderate overall severity. In these cases, fire growth is desirable.


Smoke may be visible at times and fire managers will be closely monitoring smoke impacts.


The Whitetail and Sawmill Fires are not prescribed burns. Though the resource benefits are similar to prescribed fire, these are wildfires that will be used as nature intended. This means they do not have planned “end dates.”


Fire managers have carefully determined larger perimeters within which the fire may run its natural course. As long as conditions allow and objectives are being met, crews will continue actively managing the fire. Ultimately, fire will treat portions of, or all of, the land inside the planned boundary.


Motorists should be cautious of fire traffic and smoke near the fires. Smoke may reduce visibility and fire personnel will be working near the roads.


Roads around the fire are closed to public access because of hazardous conditions. The closures are: Road 1200 at the junction with Road 1100 (Bear Canyon Junction) in the south and Road 1100 at the junction with Road 1400 (Black River Crossing); Road 1500 is closed at Warm Springs junction in the south; and Road 1500 is closed at Road 1552, (Elwood Junction). Be cautious on other nearby roads as there may be heavy fire traffic and poor visibility due to smoke. Fire vehicles may be on the Highway 70, so drive with caution.

Basic Information

Current as of
Incident TypeWildfire
Date of OriginTuesday June 16th, 2015 approx. 02:30 PM
LocationSan Carlos Reservation
Incident CommanderBarrett/Johnson(t)
Incident DescriptionMultiple Objective Fire
Coordinates33.574 latitude, -110.246 longitude

Current Situation

Total Personnel265
Size33,633 Acres
Percent of Perimeter Contained42%
Fuels Involved

Grass, Oak, Juniper, Chaparral, Ponderosa Pine

Current Weather

Weather Concerns

Chance of thunderstorms; strong, gusty winds

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