UPDATE

Rattlesnake Fire burning near Whiteriver on Fort Apache Indian Reservation is 5% contained

Posted: Updated:
The Rattlesnake Fire was discovered Wednesday afternoon about 20 miles southeast of Whiteriver on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. (Source: Inciweb) The Rattlesnake Fire was discovered Wednesday afternoon about 20 miles southeast of Whiteriver on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. (Source: Inciweb)
The fire has spread across the boundary to the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest at the southern end of the Alpine Ranger District. (Source: Inciweb) The fire has spread across the boundary to the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest at the southern end of the Alpine Ranger District. (Source: Inciweb)
No structures are threatened. (Source: Inciweb) No structures are threatened. (Source: Inciweb)
Officials say the fire is burning just south of a previously prescribed burn area. (Source: Inciweb) Officials say the fire is burning just south of a previously prescribed burn area. (Source: Inciweb)
WHITERIVER, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The Rattlesnake Fire was discovered Wednesday afternoon about 20 miles southeast of Whiteriver on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs Forestry and Wildland Fire Management, Fort Apache Agency (BIA Fort Apache). 

The agency says the fire is estimated to be about 12,797 acres in size and is burning in a remote location east of Rattlesnake Point.

The fire has spread across the boundary to the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest at the southern end of the Alpine Ranger District and is 15 percent contained.

"Winds were not as strong as was originally forecasted on Monday, allowing crews to keep fire spread to a minimum," Jeff Andrews, fire incident commander, said in a news release. "Dead logs left on the ground after the Wallow Fire are producing heavy smoke as the fire cleans up the forest floor."

[SPECIAL SECTION: Arizona wildfires]

High winds continue to fan the fire and make containment progress slow.

No structures are threatened. A closure order is now in effect for parts of the Alpine Ranger District on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests. 

Several roads within the boundary of the fire will be closed including: The Y79 road at the Y40 junction and the 25F road at the Y40 junction. The public is asked to drive carefully and turn on their headlights if traveling on the Y40 road.

Officials say the fire is burning just south of a previously prescribed burn area. 

"The fire continues to move south on the San Carlos Indian Reservation and southeast into the Bear Wallow Wilderness," said Andrews. "There was also fire movement toward the northeast, staying south of Forest Road 25 on the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests."

The cause of the fire is unknown and under investigation.

Officials with the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests said Andrew's Type 2 Incident Management Team has taken command of the fire. 

"Fresh firefighting crews are being sent south of the fire to improve and prepare control lines to prevent additional fire spread onto the San Carlos Indian Reservation," Andrews said.

A community meeting was held Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Alpine Community Center located at 12 County Road 2061 in Alpine. 

Anyone with information regarding this fire should contact We Tip at 1-800-47ARSON. 

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