Police arrest 1 in connection to Sunday fires

Hannah Grover
A brush fire burns Sunday adjacent to U.S. Highway 64 near Shiprock.

FARMINGTON – One person has been arrested in connection to a fire started Sunday near the San Juan Chapter of the Navajo Nation along the south bank of the San Juan River, according to a press release from Navajo Police Department.

Police have not released the name of the individual arrested. The arrest comes after fire personnel responding to the fire Sunday afternoon noticed several males lighting fires in the vicinity. Police are also investigating a false report of a fire near Sanostee. The Shiprock Police District Telecommunications Center received the call at approximately 4:15 p.m. Sunday, according to the press release.

The fire was one of several that fire personnel from multiple agencies, including the San Juan County Fire Department, the Farmington Fire Department and the Bureau of Indian Affairs, responded to on Sunday.

The first fire that was reported, according to the San Juan County Office of Emergency Management, was a small brush fire reported at approximately 1 p.m. in Sanostee. Michele Truby-Tillen, a spokeswoman for the office of emergency management, said the San Juan County crews were dispatched to the fire, but before the crews arrived at the scene, the Bureau of Indian Affairs reported that the brush fire had been extinguished.

Shortly afterward, fire crews responded to a fire at the end of Mesa Farm Road in Shiprock. The fire burned about 10 acres and while crews were fighting it, another call came in reporting a fire east of Shiprock.

Truby-Tillen said that was the largest of the fires, and multiple agencies responded to it. The fire burned about 100 acres of land near Shiprock.

In the press release, Navajo police warned residents about dry conditions and recommended not burning material when it is windy or very dry. Any Navajo Nation resident wanting to burn weeds or shrubs must obtain a burning permit from the Navajo Department of Natural Resources in Window Rock, Ariz. The department can be reached at 928-871-6593 or 927-871-6592.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.