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McDonald Tank Fire

Unit Information

Fort Apache Agency
Bureau of Indian Affairs
P. O. Box 560 Whiteriver Arizona 85941
Whiteriver, AZ 85941

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McDonald Tank Fire Daily Update 05/26/2021

McDonald Tank Fire Wildfire
News – 5/26/2021

WHITE MOUNTAIN ZONE Incident Management Team

Ben Plumb – Incident Commander

White Mountain Zone Team Assumes Command of McDonald Tank Fire

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Location of Origin: 25 miles southeast of Whiteriver, Arizona

Start Date: May 23, 2021

Size: 630 Acres

Cause: Under investigation

Percent Contained: 0

Personnel: 159

Fuels: Timber, Brush, Tall Grass

Resources Assigned: 2 type 6 Engines, 4 Interagency Hotshot Crews, 1 type 2 Crew, 2 Water Tenders, 2 type 1 Helicopters, 1 type 3 Helicopter, and other miscellaneous incident management overhead.

The McDonald Tank fire transitioned from a Type-4 organization to a Type-3 complexity fire when the White Mountain Zone Incident Management Team assumed command at 6:00 p.m. yesterday.

The McDonald Tank fire is burning south of Tonto Lake near the Black River on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. The location is steep and rugged and presents challenges to firefighting efforts. Fire crews today will look for opportunities to construct fire lines where it safe to do so and will deploy strategies to protect the values at risk.

The Fort Apache Indian Reservation will enact modified stage 2 fire restrictions starting today, prohibiting all campfires from 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Find out more about these fire restrictions on Facebook at

There are no current road closures, however, some closures are pending to ensure the safety for both firefighters and the public.

Today’s forecast is calling for mostly cloudy skies, with a high near 82 degrees and expected wind gusts as high as 23 mph.

Values at risk:
Fire fighter and public safety are the highest priorities for the incident management team. The McDonald Tank fire area includes important lands to the White Mountain Apache people. Firefighters are working to protect the Ten O’ Diamonds Ranch House, commercial timberlands, watersheds,  riparian areas, rangelands, heritage sites, and recreation and wilderness areas.

Smoke may be visible along U.S. 260 and 60 and in nearby communities to the north and north-east. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures.

Official fire information can be found on these sites.

• Inciweb:  

• Facebook:  

• Apache-Sitgreaves website:  

• ADEQ Air Quality Information:

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