"Dago Te", Welcome to the White Mountain Apache Tribe


WMA Fire & Rescue Logo This site is intended to be a useful tool as you gather information about the White Mountain Apache Tribal Fire & Rescue Department and the services we provide. We thank you for visiting, and hope you'll take the time to explore the entire site and learn more about the WMAT Fire & Rescue and our commitment to serving the White Mountain Apache residents and visitors.

Chief's Message

As the Assistant Fire Chief, and interim Fire Chief, of the White Mountain Apache Fire & Rescue Department I would like to welcome you to our website. This site is a tool for both our staff and the public. We encourage you to use it to learn about our department and the services we provide.

Today, our organization is faced with fiscal challenges that we will have to weather. Budget cuts have resulted in a reduction of our staff and our overall budget to get equipment, facilities and our fire trucks repaired and maintained. As a result of these cuts, our fire administration office needs to be closed on Fridays and during lunch periods, and most importantly we had to reduce the number of firefighters on the fire truck and cut their hours. Our response times have not been effected; however the level of service we once provided has not been as efficient. Having to do more with less takes a toll on the firefighters and on the rest of the staff.

Benjamin Franklin, one of America’s first volunteer firefighters, is credited for saying “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”. We couldn’t agree more in these times. We must reduce life and property loss before an accident occurs by promoting fire and life safety. Read our fire prevention and life safety tips. Check out the “Links”. Take this opportunity to learn how you can prevent fire and promote life safety.

We hope that your visit to our website is worthwhile. It is my sincere pleasure to be a part of the White Mountain Apache Fire & Rescue Department’s service to our customers and communities. Thank you for your continued support and commitment to our organization.

Always at your service.

Mark Tessay
Assistant Fire Chief

Our Mission (2014-2019)

The mission of the WMAFR is to reduce the number of fires and injuries on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation; to be a safe, Native first, professional, well trained, and financially responsible all risk emergency responder; and to promote and advocate for a safe community. Our mission will be accomplished through self discipline, proactive leadership, resourcefulness and community interaction.

Our Vision (2014-2019)

The WMAFR Family will provide safe, community based, emergency, and prevention services. Our organization will be supported by an experienced, responsible, financially innovative, and motivated staff. This will be achieved through progressive training, cutting edge technology, teamwork, and dedicated leadership.

Our Guiding Principles (2014-2019)

It is the responsibility of each of our members to support the mission and vision by subscribing to the following values and ideals.

  • Make safety a way of life.
  • Build partnerships to enhance our effectiveness.
  • Create opportunities for personal growth.
  • Never quit pushing ourselves and other to be better.
  • Be financially responsible in our everday practices.
  • Have ownership and pride by taking care of what we have.
  • Be progressive in knowledge and technology.
  • Build a culture that promotes the fire service as a life long career and retains its experienced members.
  • Pass on experience and knowledge to others.
  • Live a healthy life in every possible way.

Thank you for taking the time to visit our website. If you have any questions, please feel free to visit or give us a call.

» News & Announcements

Tribal Fire Chief Retires

January 8, 2014

In his resignation letter to Tribal Chairman Ronnie Lupe dated October 8, 2013, Chief Kuehl wrote “after months of prayer and thoughtful consideration I have decided that it is time for me to retire my position as the Tribal Fire Chief as well as from the fire service. Click here to read more.

Fallen Officer To Be Remembered Daily in Hon-Dah/McNary

June 19, 2013

Family, law enforcement officers and the community at large will truly never forget a fallen officer’s name every time they come to Hon-Dah/McNary and drive past the public safety building. Click here to read more.

One Suspected Arsonist Arrested; Another Suspect Being Sought

June 10, 2013

A juvenile was taken into custody several hours after a fire was reported at the Cibecue Police Substation. Click here to read more.

Times Change...So Do Fires.

June 6, 2013

Times do change as we have seen in our technology, human behaviors and YES even FIRES. Click here to read more.

Tribal Firefighters Participate in USAF’s Military Training

JApril 15, 2013

If you happened to be in the Salt River Canyon this past Saturday afternoon you may have been surprised to see two Ch-47 Chinook twin-turbine, tandem-rotor, heavy-lift transport helicopters belonging to the Royal Singapore Air Force as well as several United States Marines and numerous Air Force combat search and rescue (CSAR) personnel. Click here to read more.

After the Fires: Investigations and Interventions Continue

April 12, 2013

Due to the thorough work of the department’s fire investigators a 21-year old male is facing arson charges for his alleged involvement with three separate fires involving an occupied home, a vacant house, and vegetation that occurred on March 30 in the Hon Dah Homesites. Click here to read more.

Fire Department’s Response to Mandatory Budget Cuts and RIFs

February 28, 2013

WMAFR losses a total of five fulltime firefighter positions reducing our duty crews from four to three firefighters per shift per stations. Click here to read more.