ASSISTANCE NEEDED: Arizona Tribes In Dire Need

This morning, President Bush declared the Fort Apache Reservation, home to the White Mountain Apache Tribe, a disaster area in the wake of the Rodeo fire. The President also declared Apache and Navajo counties disaster areas.

The declaration makes federal funds (such as low-interest loans, grants and other programs) available for disaster assistance for residents and businesses that are affected by the fire. To apply for aid, call the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) toll-free at 1-800-621-FEMA (3362), or 1-800-462-7585 (TTY) for the hearing and speech impaired; lines are open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. seven days a week until further notice.

Local Indian communities are also stepping up to the plate. The San Carlos Apache Tribe (SCAT) has established the "San Carlos Fire Support/Relief Committee" to help address the concerns of the Rodeo fire. Robert Howard heads the committee for the tribal government. Mr. Howard is seeking resources to assist White Mountain Apache tribal members affected by the huge fires raging across the White Mountains. The committee’s command and information center will be in the Tribal Administration Building in San Carlos.

To help the victims of Arizona’s largest wildfire, please call (928) 812-0561. Mr. Howard can also be paged at (928) 402-3651 or emailed at <A HREF=""></A>.

SCAT has opened its R.V. park and horse/livestock facilities at the Apache Gold Casino/Resort to people with trailers/campers free of charge. There will also be a block of rooms available at the resort hotel free of charge to fire victims, as well as meals for both evacuees and firefighters.

SCAT is also accepting donations for forwarding to the American Red Cross.

Willadine Hughes, RN Nurse Educator/Liaison to the Evacuation Center Coordinator at the Whiteriver Indian Health Service offices, forwarded a list of the most-needed items:

  • Toiletries: Shampoo, toothpaste, lotion
  • Towels · Sheets
  • Blankets
  • Flashlights and batteries
  • Drinking water
  • Juice
  • Small and large animal cages or pet taxies
  • Phone cards for families to keep in touch with loved ones
  • Cell phones if possible
  • Generators-- as many as you can supply
  • Water tankers - 30,000 - 40,000 gal. (military type)

Ms. Hughes can be reached at (928) 338-4911 or email 



Reprinted as an historical reference document under the Fair Use doctrine of international copyright law.