Aspen Butte fire

WHITERIVER — Earlier this month, firefighters worked to manage a fire on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, on the western edge of the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, that resulted from a lightning strike.

The Aspen Butte wildfire was detected Tuesday, Nov. 12, 25 miles east of Whiteriver.

Officials with the Bureau of Indian Affairs Forestry & Wildlife Management estimated the fire to be 200 acres.

The BIA stated, “This is a Type 4 incident. Approximately 60 personnel are assigned to the fire, including three hand crews, four engines, one dozer and miscellaneous overhead,” officials said. “The fire is mainly a surface fire and backing down from the top of Aspen Butte, burning grass, and dead and downed logs in a mixed conifer overstory. There are a number of snags in the area that need to be dropped to ensure both firefighter safety as well as to minimize the chance of fire spreading across the containment line.”

The BIA announced it would only post additional news on the fire if any significant changes were to occur. The agency had also been conducting prescribed burns in the area eight miles east of Whiteriver and had burns in the region planned through Nov. 23.

Those seeking additional information have been instructed to contact Public Information Officer Candy Lupe at 928-205-5662.

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