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FARMINGTON — A portion of the fire restriction on the Navajo Nation has been lifted to allow individuals to burn areas for agricultural purposes.

The announcement about the lift, which was signed by Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye on March 16, was made Monday in a press release from his office.

The lift is in response to crews from the Bureau of Indian Affairs Navajo Region Wildland Fire and Aviation Management responding to reports of fires that were not wildfires.

Johnson Benallie, assistant fire management officer for BIA Wildland Fire and Aviation Management, said in the release that earlier in the month crews responded to nine reports about smoke and, since there was no documentation to demonstrate these were not wildfires, crews were busy for that day.

While obtaining a permit to open burn for agricultural purposes is voluntary, the Air Quality Control Program under the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency encourages the public to report when such activity will take place.

Contact the Air Quality Control Program at 928-729-4246 or 928-729-4096 to report open burn activity.

Forms to register an open burn are available at chapter houses or from the Navajo Nation EPA office in Shiprock or online under the "online form" tab at navajonationepa.org.

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