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WHITERIVER — Bureau of Indian Affairs Public Information Officer in Whiteriver, Candy Lupe, said firefighters are currently fighting the 149-acre Bonito Rock Fire about 17 miles east of Whiteriver.

The Y 70 Road is closed due to the fire.

It was detected Monday, April 19 just east of last year’s Lofer Fire, Lupe said.

The cause is at this time unknown until a fire investigator can determine what started it.

Lupe said the fire is burning in ponderosa pine and mixed conifer in steep and rugged terrain that is complicating efforts to control it.

Lupe said that as of Wednesday morning, April 21 there was one Type 1 Helicopter, firefighters with the Globe Hotshots and Tribal Fuels, two dozers, Fort Apache Fuels firefighters and two Type 3 engines fighting the fire with other resources on order.

“Fire behavior has been moderate, driven by terrain and winds. Yesterday, firefighters hiked over a mile to reach the fire. There are no nearby roads to access the fire. Today, fire personnel will scout the area and develop a strategy to control the fire.  The main concern for today is a combination of strong winds and low relative humidities, as it can contribute to extreme fire behavior,” Lupe said in her press release announcing the fire.  

She said that a red flag warning is in effect from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 21 due to strong winds and low relative humidity.  

“Industrial contractors within the boundaries of the Reservation are subject to shut down operations for short periods during such alerts. Campfires and debris burning will not be permitted. No smoking outside of buildings or vehicles will be permitted. Propane campfires or fire pits will not be permitted. Campfires are prohibited in undeveloped campgrounds and the public is reminded to be fire safe in developed campgrounds,” Lupe said.

For more information on the fire go to

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