UPDATE: Rattlesnake fire grows to 12,797 acres, 15 percent conta - Tucson News Now

UPDATE: Rattlesnake fire grows to 12,797 acres, 15 percent contained

Rattlesnake Fires north side backing from Forest Road 25 (Source: InciWeb) Rattlesnake Fires north side backing from Forest Road 25 (Source: InciWeb)
Rattlesnake Fires north side backing from Forest Road 25 (Source: InciWeb) Rattlesnake Fires north side backing from Forest Road 25 (Source: InciWeb)
Rattlesnake Fire (Source: Inciweb) Rattlesnake Fire (Source: Inciweb)
Whiteriver, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

The Rattlesnake Fire continues to burn southeast of Whiteriver, Arizona, on the Fort Apache and San Carlos Apache Indian Reservations and the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. Southwest Area Incident Management Team 5 is now managing the Rattlesnake Fire.

Cause: Human Caused-under investigation

Containment: 15 percent 

Start date: Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Size: 12,797 Acres (1430 Thursday afternoon, April 19)

Resources: Approximately 408 personnel 

Public Meeting: There will be a community meeting in Alpine tonight, April 19, 2018, at 6:00 pm at the Alpine Community Center, located at 12 County Road 2061, Alpine, AZ 85920. 

Fire activity: The majority of new growth on the Rattlesnake Fire occurred within the interior of the fire and to the south and southeast portions of the fire where aerial retardant drops were used yesterday to slow the spread. Despite additional acreage, the fire has not advanced towards the communities of Alpine, Nutrioso or Round Valley, or crossed any containment lines to the north and east. One of the primary areas of concern today is the fire advancement on the northeast side of Reno lookout. Crews will continue to work south while scouting potential fire line on the southeast and southwest sides to keep the fire within the area previously burned by the Wallow Fire. Fire crews are tentatively planning a burnout operation, when weather conditions permit, to tie fire control lines into highway 191, east of the Rattlesnake fire. This potential may result in a temporary closure of highway 191, however, the public will be given notice of detour route(s) and road information will be posted on all of the fire information websites and social media. 

Safety: Forest visitors are reminded to use caution when traveling along highway 191 and surrounding forest roads as smoke may reduce visibility in the area, and there is increased emergency vehicle traffic.

Weather: The National Weather Service has issued a Red Flag Warning for today April 19 for portions of eastern Arizona due to strong winds and low relative humidity, and smoke may impact the community of Alpine today. The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality placed an air quality monitor at the Alpine Fire Station yesterday, and it is currently operational. Air quality information can be found at https://www.phoenixvis.net/PPMmain.aspx. Closures: Closures are in place on the San Carlos Apache Reservation, White Mountain Apache Reservation and the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. Visit the Rattlesnake Fire Inciweb page for details. 

Restrictions: San Carlos Apache Reservation implemented Stage 2 Fire Restrictions on April 17, 2018. Modified Stage 2 Fire Restrictions continue on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. Campfires will NOT be allowed during the hours of 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. and debris burning is prohibited until further notice.

Copyright 2018 Tucson News Now. All rights reserved.

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