Fire Jumps Highway 60, Spreads toward Whiteriver

Flying V Fire PHOTO Credit: BIA Fort Apache Agency


Whiteriver, Arizona – The Flying V fire, which ignited on July 5, has taken a dangerous turn as it jumped over Highway 60 and started burning on the east side. This was caused by strong winds yesterday afternoon which propelled embers across Highway 60, igniting a spot fire on the Whiteriver side. With the size of the fire now reaching 1,200 acres and containment efforts still at 0 percent, firefighters are battling relentlessly to bring the fire under control and protect lives and property.

The White Mountain Zone Type 3 Incident Management Team took over command last night, at 6:00 p.m., recognizing the escalating threat posed by the fire’s growth and increasing complexity. Their primary objective is to implement a full suppression strategy to minimize the impact on Highway 60 and protect tribal resources.

The Flying V fire is burning in rugged terrain, making suppression efforts even more demanding. The rapid advancement of the fire has heightened concerns for the safety of firefighters and the public. Additional resources, including aerial support and firefighting personnel, have been mobilized to combat the fire’s spread in critical areas. Structures and infrastructure in the affected region are currently not under immediate threat.

Weather conditions are further exacerbating the firefighting challenges, with today’s forecast predicting a high of 95 degrees Fahrenheit and winds gusting up to 20 mph. These unfavorable conditions can rapidly accelerate the fire’s growth and complicate containment efforts.

Highway 60 remains closed, between mile posts 256-311. This closure is crucial for ensuring the safety of both the public and firefighters engaged in suppression activities. Unfortunately, the reopening of the highway remains uncertain at this time, as the fire continues to pose risks to its vicinity.

The incident management team has prioritized firefighter and public safety, as well as the protection of Highway 60, as their primary objectives. Additionally, the Flying V fire threatens vital lands significant to the White Mountain Apache people. Watersheds, riparian areas, rangelands, and heritage sites are all at risk, and firefighting personnel are working tirelessly to safeguard these important resources.

Smoke from the wildfire is expected to impact several communities, including Cibecue, Whiteriver, Carrizo, Cedar Creek, and the White Mountain region. Residents are strongly advised to take precautionary measures to protect themselves from the potential health hazards associated with wildfire smoke.

For the latest updates and official information regarding the Flying V fire, the public is encouraged to visit the following sources: Inciweb at…/azwat-flying-v-fire, the BIA Fire Management Facebook page at, the ADEQ Air Quality Information website at, and ADOT at

The firefighting personnel are tirelessly battling the Flying V fire, facing the immense challenge of containing its spread and protecting the affected communities. Their efforts, supported by available resources and the cooperation of the community, are crucial in combating the blaze and ensuring the safety and well-being of all those impacted by this devastating fire.