SPRINGERVILLE, Ariz. - The Wallow Fire, the largest wild fire in Arizona history, skirted the Hopi Tribe's 26 Bar Ranch.
Back on June 7 with flames drawing close, the tribe had relocated a herd of 400 cattle to an area located in the Coconino National Forest near Mormon Lake, where they will remain for the duration of the summer. All but two of the cattle have been accounted for.
None of the 26 Bar Ranch's five buildings, including the current homes of two cowboys who work the ranch and their families and a house that belonged to John Wayne, were lost due to the fire.
"We extend our deepest sympathies to the families, our neighbors in the area, who have been impacted by the Wallow Fire," said LeRoy N. Shingoitewa, chairman of the Hopi Tribe. "And we owe a tremendous amount of gratitude to the courageous firefighters who put their lives on the line to protect the Hopi Tribe's property."
More than 2,300 firefighters have been battling the blaze, which has consumed nearly 550,000 acres in Arizona and New Mexico.
The 26 Bar Ranch, known for its tradition of producing top quality Hereford cattle, was started by John Wayne and his partner Louis Johnson. The Hopi Tribe acquired the working ranch in 1997.
In addition to the 26 Bar Ranch, The Hopi Tribe owns three other ranches: the Clear Creek Ranch, south of Winslow off State Route 87, Aja Ranch, south of Winslow off State Route 99 and the Heart and Drye Ranches near Twin Arrows.