News Release

Navajo Nation - Office of the President and Vice President

According to the Navajo Area Bureau of Indian Affairs, Bureau of Indian Affairs Fire and Aviation Management, Navajo Region, responded with suppression resources after a wildfire caused by lightning was detected three miles east of Wood Springs, Ariz., located northeast of Kin Dah Lichíí Chapter, on June 27. On Sunday, Bureau of Indian Affairs Regional Fire Management Officer Dale Glenmore reported that the wildfire grew to over 300 acres from the community of Wood Springs due to very high winds over the weekend, and fire crews continue to work to contain the wildfire. Officials are currently setting 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 Bureau of Indian Affairs 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 and that rangers are evacuating residents that are 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. We are working with the Bureau of Indian Affairs 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,” said President Nez.

The Navajo Area Bureau of Indian Affairs 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 Bureau of Indian Affairs Fire Management and others as this wildfire progresses. 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,” stated Vice President Lizer.

For information on the status of the wildfire, please call Navajo Regional Fire Dispatch at (928) 729-2307. The Office of the President and Vice President will continue to provide updates as they become available. 

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