Navajo Nation Implements Stage 2 Fire Restrictions

Published June 14, 2018

WINDOW ROCK —  Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye and Vice President Jonathan Nez signed an executive order implementing Stage 2 Fire Restrictions amid growing concerns over drought and recent fires.

“All Navajo is now well aware, and cannot deny the state of extreme and exceptional drought facing our nation,” President Begaye said. “For the safety of all living on Navajo, we are putting into effect Stage 2 Fire Restrictions.”

“I encourage everyone to be careful and to become familiar with the fire restrictions. The drought we are experiencing is affecting not only the peoplebut also our plants, traditional herbs, crops, insects and livestock,” he continued. “It is important that our people come together to pray for rain and for each other.”

In a partnership with the executive, legislative and judicial branch, the Navajo Nation conducted a traditional ceremonial offering for rain in mid-May. The initiative was spearheaded by the Navajo Heritage and Historic Preservation Department and was coordinated with assistance from the Navajo Nation Museum and the Hitaałii Advisory Council. The Navajo Nation is planning to conduct another offering next week.

“Let’s continue to pray for rain,” Vice President Nez said. “Let us remind one another we are in an extreme drought and there are fire restrictions in place across the Navajo Nation.”

The upgrade from Stage 1 to Stage 2 Fire Restrictions prohibits the following uses on the Navajo Nation:

  1. Possession, manufacturing, sale or use of FIREWORKS or other pyrotechnic devices pursuant to 17 N.N.C. § 2733.
  2. All debris (trash) and field-clearing burning.
  3. All wood burning, charcoal fires, campfires, warming fires and charcoal barbecues.
  4. Use of firearms and incendiary devices without a valid permit.
  5. The use and operation of chainsaws or any other internal combustion engines between the hours of 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.

The following uses must be done with extreme caution:

  1. Smoking, which is recommended only in permitted areas and in an enclosed vehicle, for traditional and ceremonial uses.

The following uses are permitted:

  1. Only propane, gas or other petroleum-fueled stoves will be allowed for livestock branding. Such devices may only be used in an area that is barren or cleared of all overhead and surrounding flammable materials within 3 feet of the device.
  2. Ceremonial fires, properly registered and permitted by the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency (NNEPA) through a Navajo Nation EPA Burn Registration that is obtained five days prior to the ceremony.  To obtain an NNEPA
    Burn Registration, please contact Navajo Nation EPA Air Quality at (928) 729-4156.
  3. Public firework displays approved and permitted, pursuant to 17 N.N.C. § 2735, by the Navajo Nation Fire Department.
  4. Persons with a valid written permit/bonding/license specifically authorizing an otherwise prohibited act.
  5. Persons conducting activities in designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written posted notice.
  6. Any Federal, State, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty.

Any individuals found guilty of violating any provision of the Stage 2 Fire Restrictions established by the executive order will be fined up to $5,000.

To report a wildfire, call BIA Fire Dispatch at (928) 729-2307 during business hours. Otherwise, call the Navajo Nation Police Department at (928) 871-6111/6112/6113. Questions regarding the order may be directed to the Navajo Forestry Department at (928) 729-4007.

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