WINDOW ROCK, ARIZONA—On July 1, the Navajo Forestry Department reported a forest fire in the vicinity of Sanostee, New Mexico.
Alexious Becenti, forest manager, said the fire was caused by lightening and is currently burning on a slope on the Chuska Mountain Range.
“BIA Fire Management is on scene with the following resources: BIA Navajo Hot Shot crew, BIA Navajo Helitack crew, and a U.S. Forestry Service Flagstaff Hot Shot crew is en route,” said Becenti.
Two air tanker drops have been made on the fire. No report was available on the total acres burned by the fire and more information will be released later today.
Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye said, “We are praying for the protection of the various teams fighting the forest fire. We encourage the public to give right of way to official vehicles as they make their way to the impacted area.”
He also added that extra precautions must be taken this weekend with the Independence Day holiday, especially with campfires.
“Have a great time with your families and be safe,” President Begaye said.
Vice President Jonathan Nez agreed with the safety precautions and said tribal members must comply with the Navajo Nation Fireworks Code.
“Fireworks are illegal on the Navajo Nation and we must prevent forest fires that can be caused by the use of fireworks,” Vice President Nez said.
He noted that Navajo Nation Council Resolution No. CAP-18-86 details the Navajo Nation Fireworks Code under Title 17 of the Navajo Nation Code.
The possession, sale and use of fireworks are against the health, safety and welfare of the Navajo people, the resolution states, and tribal council concurs with the intent and purpose for banning such fireworks from the Navajo Nation.
President Begaye encouraged tribal members to attend the Fourth of July Celebration in Window Rock. A fireworks display will be free to spectators at the event on the evening of July 4.