Smoke from White Mountain wildfire blanketing Gila Valley

Whiteriver – Smoke from a wildfire in the Whiteriver area of the White Mountains is hovering over the Gila Valley. The Rattlesnake Fire started Wednesday, April 11 at approximately 1:30 p.m. The fire was human-caused and is under investigation. The fire is burning on the White Mountain Apache Reservation, about 20 miles southwest of Alpine and has grown to 24,273 acres. It’s currently 45% contained. Approximately 570 personnel are fighting it.

Fire fighters successfully completed a a ground firing operation to secure the containment lines. Aerial ignition of un-burned fuel in interior islands may be implemented today.