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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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Incident Contact

Candy Lupe
Phone: 928-205-5662

McDonald Tank Fire Daily Update 05/31/2021

McDonald Tank Fire Wildfire
News – 5/31/2021


Incident Management Team

Ben Plumb – Incident Commander

Firefighters Gaining Ground On McDonald Tank Fire  

McDonald Tank Fire: Monday, May 31, 2021

Location of Origin: 25 miles southeast of Whiteriver, Arizona

Start Date: May 23, 2021

Size: 3,550 Acres

Cause: Under investigation

Percent Contained: 58

Personnel: 167

Fuels: Timber, Brush, Tall Grass

Resources Assigned: 4 type 6 Engines, 1 type 3 Engine, 3 Interagency Hotshot Crews, 1 type 2 Crew, 1 type 2 Initial Attack Crew, 5 Water Tenders, 1 type 1 Helicopter, 1 type 3 Helicopter, 2 Dozers, and other miscellaneous incident management overhead.

Operations: Firefighters were able to accomplish additional containment yesterday and were successful in strengthening and holding control lines. Today crews will continue mopping up, assessing threats, and patrolling the perimeter to mitigate any threats to the fire lines. One of the top priorities for the White Mountain Zone Team is to be good stewards of the land while operating on wildland fire assignments. A key component of this is managing the incident in a manner that is environmentally responsible. During this incident a recycling plan was put into place to process cardboard, plastic bottles, batteries and various other products that were generated by the hundreds of firefighting personnel.

Alerts: The Fort Apache Indian Reservation has enacted stage 2 fire restrictions, prohibiting all campfires from 7:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. The San Carlos Apache Tribe initiated modified stage 2 fire restrictions, prohibiting all campfires from 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.

Closures: 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 Malay Gap Management Unit on the San Carlos Apache reservation is closed.  

Safety: 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.

Weather: Today’s forecast is calling for mostly cloudy skies with a 20% chance of rain and possible dry lightning, and a high near 80 degrees.

Values at risk: 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, the Paddy Creek Ranch, 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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