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

» Frequently Asked Questions

  When is open burning season?

Unless there are special fire restrictions, residents on the Fort Apache Indian Reservation are allowed to burn corn fields, piles of leaves, grass, weeds, brush, branches, pine needles and other forestry debris (biomass) and untreated lumber throughout the year. However, you must first obtain a [free] burn permit at one of the three fire stations. Once a permit is obtained, you must call the fire station on the day you intend to burn to ask if there are any restrictions that day. Once permission is granted, you must also notify the Tribal Police Department (338-4942) and BIA Fire Management (338-5326) prior to beginning your burn.

You do not need a permit to have a cooking fire at your residence. However, permits are required for cooking fires at other locations other than camp grounds.

Burn permits are also required for the following events: sunrise dances, traditional ceremonies, sweats, wakes, burning of deceased's possessions, BBQ pits and branding.

  How do I get a burn permit?

Visit any of our three (3) fire stations during normal business hours, or click here to download one.

  How do I get a copy of a fire report?

To obtain a copy of an incident report is dependent upon whether you are the victim or a third party. Victims can go directly to the fire station that provided the service and obtain a copy of the report. Proper identification will be required. Third party entities (i.e. insurance, etc.) will need to submit a request in writing to:

WMA Fire & Rescue Department
Attn: Chief Paul Kuehl
PO Box 1929
Whiteriver, Arizona 85941

Typically, reports are public records, however because of certain information obtained, such as medical information and other private information, we may not be able to issue a report without a court order or approval from the victim.

  How often should I change my smoke detector batteries?

The WMA Fire & Rescue Department recommends changing your smoke detector and carbon monoxide detector batteries twice a year.

  Will the Fire Department come out and inspect or replace the batteries in my smoke detector or in the home of my elderly mother/father

Yes. The Fire Department has a program to provide free smoke detectors/batteries for residents (while supplies last). To make an appointment to have a detector installed or serviced, call Kateri at (928) 338-1701.

  How do I get my physical address (911) number for my house?

The WMA Fire & Rescue Department coordinates the posting of house numbers. If you know your correct physical address, but do not yet have your address number posted on your house, you can request them to be posted by calling your community fire station. Please leave your name, phone number and complete and correct physical address. You can also pick up your numbers at one of the three fire stations.

Winston Tortice is responsible for assigning physical addresses to the property. If you do not yet have a physical address assigned to your property, or if you do not know your physical address, please contact him at at the Whiteriver Police Department at (928) 338-4942.

  Do you refill or recharge fire extinguishers?

While the WMA Fire & Rescue Department encourages every home owner to have a least one working (Class ABC) fire extinguisher in the home, the Fire Department does not provide this service. The phone book lists a number of vendors who sell and service fire extinguishers under ‘Fire Extinguishers’ in the yellow pages. You can purchase fire extinguishers at most hardware stores. Just be sure to buy a fire extinguisher that has a gauge and that is rechargeable.

  Does the WMA Fire & Rescue Fire Department offer CPR education?

Presently the WMA Fire & Rescue Fire Department provides a limited number of CPR/First Aid Programs for the public and for departments and programs within the Tribe.

Open enrollment has been scheduled. Class size is limited to 10 students. Cost associated with open enrollment is $30.00 per person. All fees are re-directed back into the program to purchase books, training aids, and for manikin repair and maintenance. For department or program classes, in which you want a group of your employees trained, please contact us for pricing information and available options at (928) 338-1701.

  Does the Fire Department install and/or inspect child car seats?

Yes, car seat inspection and/or installation is offered to WMAT residents only. An appointment is required. Click here for more information.

  What is a Red Flag Warning?

A Red Flag Warning is a term used by fire-weather forecasters to call attention to limited weather conditions of particular importance that may result in extreme burning conditions. It is issued when it is an on-going event or the fire weather forecaster has a high degree of confidence that Red Flag criteria will occur within 24 hours of issuance.

Red Flag criteria occurs whenever a geographical area has been in a dry spell for a week or two, or for a shorter period, if before spring green-up or after fall color, and the NFDRS is high to extreme and the following forecast weather parameters are forecasted to met:

  • A sustained wind average 15 mph or greater.
  • Relative humidity less than or equal to 25%, and
  • 10 hour fuel moisture less than 8%

During a red flag warning, forest users are strongly urged to consider alternatives to a campfire. Because of the warning's short duration, there won't be time to issue a campfire or burning ban.

Never burn debris when a red flag warning is in effect. It can so easily get out of control, and you can be held liable for suppression costs.