Wood Springs Two wildfire grows to over 5,816 acres, Sawmill and Fluted Rock communities on high alert
Residents evacuated from nearby communities
WOOD SPRINGS, Ariz. — A wildfire detected 3 miles east of Wood Springs, Arizona, June 27 is being actively suppressed by Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Fire and Aviation Management, Navajo Region. The lightning caused wildfire is located northeast of Kin Dah Lichíí Chapter and is currently 5,816 acres and zero percent contained.
The fire crossed N-26, but has not crossed Route 7, as of June 30. It is approximately 5 miles from Sawmill, Arizona.
The communities of Sawmill and Fluted Rock are on high alert. Residents should begin collecting important items and be ready to evacuate. If you are asked to evacuated, please contact your local chapter house for information on evacuation shelters.
Smoke will be visible from Highway 264, Window Rock, Ganado, Sawmill, Nazlini, Chinle and other surrounding communities. Smoke from the fire will rise and travel to the northeast today, shifting toward Navajo, Fort Defiance, and Window Rock overnight.
On June 28, BIA Regional Fire Management Officer Dale Glenmore reported the wildfire grew to over 300 acres from the community of Wood Springs because of very high winds over the weekend, and fire crews continue to work to contain the wildfire. Officials have set up an Incident Command Center at the Ganado Pavilion and may consider other sites as well.
Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez and Vice President Myron Lizer were briefed on the wildfire by Navajo BIA Area Director Bart Stevens and Glenmore, who also reported that Navajo Route 7 from Sawmill to Chinle and Wood Springs and Navajo Route 26 between Nazlini and Sawmill are closed.
Rangers have evacuated residents that were in immediate danger.
Council Delegate Vince James, who represents the communities of Ganado and Kin Dah Lichíí, is also coordinating with his local chapters to identify resources.
“All residents in the area must be very cautious and we ask that everyone cooperate with the emergency responders, especially if you are asked to evacuate from your residence,” Nez said. “We are working with the BIA and chapters to provide relief and places of shelter for displaced residents. We must also remain diligent and mindful of the risks posed by COVID-19 as we address this wildfire. Please continue to pray for our Nation and our first responders.”
The Navajo Area BIA urges all residents to avoid the wildfire area due to hazardous terrain and fire spread and to avoid access roads and trails to the fire. To protect the public, they encourage everyone to help keep the firefighters safe from potential COVID-19 transmission in the course of the work responding to the wildfire.
“This is a very serious situation. The high winds are making response efforts very challenging at this point. The Office of the President and Vice President is in close communication with the Navajo Area BIA Fire Management and others as this wildfire progresses,” Lizer said. “To all the families in the areas of Kin Dah Lichíí, Nazlini, Wood Springs, and Sawmill, please remain alert and please continue to pray for our communities.”
Closures and Restrictions
Residents should avoid the wildfire area. The following roads are closed except to residents:
• Navajo Route 7 is closed from Sawmill, AZ to Chinle.
• N-26 is closed at the intersection of N-27 east towards Navajo Route 7.
More information is available at Inciweb.
Information provided by BIA, Wildland Fire Management, Navajo Region and the Office of the President and Vice President
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