FARMINGTON — Management of the Assayii Lake Fire returns to the Bureau of Indian Affairs Navajo Fire Management Program Tuesday.
According to a press release from the Southwest Area Interagency Type 3 Team, the management transition was scheduled for 6 a.m.
All firefighters and equipment working for the Southwest Area Interagency Type 3 Team were released on Monday.
In addition, all social media accounts and telephone numbers for the team are discontinued.
The fire, which started on June 13 and has consumed 14,712 acres, is now 98 percent contained, and the number of personnel has decreased to 29.
When the fire is 100 percent contained, the next step for firefighters is to bring the entire fire under control, which includes fires within the containment line, according to the press release.
Control means the fire is "dead out," which means no hot spots, no floating embers, nothing that will flare again if the wind speed increases.
Isolated pockets of fuel within the fire's interior may continue to burn and smoke still may be seen.
The fire zone remains closed and the Navajo Nation Emergency Operation Center is working with the chapters to escort residents and livestock owners to the area, said Rose Whitehair, director of the Navajo Nation Department of Emergency Management.
The continuing closure is due to safety concerns because the fire zone is not fully contained and unstable trees could fall, Whitehair said.