New Mexico wildfire forces Navajo communities to evacuate

Blog Post created by lisamariesinatra Employee on Jun 18, 2014

On Monday, near the New Mexico-Arizona border, residents of two Native American communities were forced to evacuate as strong winds fueled the flames of a wildfire burning in the Chuska Mountains.

The Assayii Lake Fire has burned around 17 square miles, prompting Navajo Nation police to issue an evacuation order for parts of Naschitti and nearby Sheep Springs. About 400 people live in the area, and according to fire managers, many have been put on notice that more evacuations could be possible.

News reports say that state and federal land managers have been warning people to be careful because of the dry conditions that have covered the state over the past four years. Moderate to severe drought conditions cover more than 95 percent of the state, including portions of the Navajo Nation in northwestern New Mexico, which has already seen more than 400 fires burn nearly 10,000 acres, according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

More information regarding what residents can do before a wildfire threatens your area including Firewise tips and resources can be found on the Firewise website. NFPA also has information about what you can do during the time a wildfire is in your area and after a wildfire is contained, Find these on NFPA's wildland fire web page.