What Smokey Bear might have learned if he had been raised in Indian Country
On Memorial Day weekend in 2011, an unattended campfire in Bear Wallow Wilderness sparked a small brush fire that quickly turned into a holocaust, burning through 538,000 acres and destroying 32 homes in the process. It cost taxpayers more than $79 million to suppress. The Wallow fire was the largest fire in Arizona history, with almost 6,000 people evacuated during the weeks it burned. The San Carlos Apache Indian Reservation, just to the west of where the fire started, was hardly touched.