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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 05/27/2021

McDonald Tank Fire Wildfire
News – 5/27/2021

Incident Management Team
Ben Plumb – Incident Commander
Persistent Drought Conditions Fuel Fires Growth
Thursday, May 27, 2021

Location of Origin: 25 miles southeast of Whiteriver, Arizona
Start Date: May 23, 2021 
Size: 1,561 Acres
Cause: Under investigation
Percent Contained: 0
Personnel: 122
Fuels: Timber, Brush, Tall Grass
Resources Assigned: 3 type 6 Engines, 3 Interagency Hotshot Crews, 1 type 2 Crew, 3 Water Tenders, 1 type 1 Helicopter, 2 type 3 Helicopters, 1 Dozer, and other miscellaneous incident management overhead.

Drought conditions and extremely low fuel moistures aided in the spread of the fire yesterday, progressing over a mile, and mostly to the north and up McDonald Creek. One of the primary objectives is to keep fire on the north side of the Black River. Firefighters will continue to scout the road systems for establishing direct and indirect options and will look for opportunities to secure the fires edge down into the Black River today.

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

To ensure the safety for both firefighters and the public, the junction at Y70/Y30, the Y40/Y70 junction, and everything south of Maverick and Tonto Lake is temporarily closed. The public is urged to drive with caution on the Y70 road due to logging truck traffic and timber operations.  

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.

Today’s forecast is calling for mostly sunny skies, with a high near 80 degrees and expected wind gusts up to 18 mph in the afternoon.

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 and other historical structures, commercial timberlands, critical watersheds,  riparian areas, rangelands, and recreation and wilderness areas.

Official fire information can be found on these sites.

• Inciweb: 
• Facebook: 
• Apache-Sitgreaves website: 
• ADEQ Air Quality Information:

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