Forest fire burns over 3,550 acres in Fort Apache Indian Reservation, 95% contained

No evacuation was ordered, but officials said the trajectory of the fire included land of historic value.

NAVAJO COUNTY, Arizona – A burning forest fire on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation in Navajo County burned more than 3,550 acres as of Friday morning and remains 95% contained, officials said.

The McDonald Reservoir fire is burning south of Lake Tonto near the Black River, fire officials say. The fire broke out on May 23, but the cause remains under investigation.

Crews say the area’s dry conditions and steep terrain make it difficult to control the blaze. There has been no containment around the fire since Thursday.

No evacuation was ordered, but officials said the fire’s trajectory included land of historic value to the Apache people of White Mountain.

Firefighters work to protect Ten O ‘Diamonds Ranch House and other historic structures, commercial forests, critical watersheds, riparian areas, courses, and recreation and wilderness areas.

Some road restrictions are in place and smoke is visible along US 260 and US 60. The junction at Y70 / Y30, junction Y40 / Y70 and all south of Maverick and Tonto Lake are temporarily closed.

The public is urged to drive with caution on the Y70 road due to logging truck traffic and logging operations, officials said.

Keep track of the latest information about fires on the forest service website.

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Nohemi M. Moore