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Cottonwood Ridge Wildfire Update

Update for 7/23/2023

Whiteriver, AZ – The Cottonwood Ridge Fire started on Sunday, July 23, 2023, within the old Rodeo-Chediski burn scar on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation. It is approximately 240 acres, burning mainly dead and down logs and manzanita in steep and rugged terrain that is difficult for firefighters to access. The Cottonwood Ridge Fire is exhibiting low to moderate fire behavior.

Yesterday, Airtankers have slowed the fire’s growth using retardant while firefighters were scouting to gain access to the fire. There were 23 personnel on the fire yesterday with additional resources on order.

Management Objective: Reduce fire size using aircraft, giving firefighters time to assess the fire landscape. Firefighters are working on full suppression tactics for this fire.

Operational Update: Today, firefighters will continue to scout the area to gain access to the south end of the fire to establish an anchor point. Heavy equipment will improve the main road. Air resources will continue to support the fire.

Safety: The health and safety of firefighters and the public are always the priority. Members of the public should avoid the fire area.

Values at risk: Potential communities at risk include Linden to the north of the Cottonwood Ridge Fire, but it’s NOT an immediate threat at this time. Citizens should always be “Ready” for any emergency by having a kit, being on the Ready Navajo County Alert System (sign up here: https://member.everbridge.net/453003085612436/login) and watch official sources for accurate information. Should the need arise to go into “SET”, an alert will be sent, as well as posts added to our social media and on www.311info.net. Highway 60 may be impacted and is located east of the fire.

Smoke: Go to https://fire.airnow.gov/ to see the latest smoke conditions in your community. Smoke may be visible from the surrounding communities and along Highway 60.

Primary and Cooperating Agencies: Bureau of Indian Affairs and White Mountain Apache Tribe.

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