Small wildfire breaks out near Toadlena

Blaze is 3 acres in size and uncontained

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times
Smoke rises from a wildfire Thursday caused by a lightning strike in the Chuska Mountains south of Toadlena.

TOADLENA — Firefighters from the Bureau of Indian Affairs Navajo Region Wildland Fire and Aviation Management are responding to a fire on Ch'ooshgai Mountain.

The fire is located about 2.5 miles south of Toadlena, according to a public notification released today by the agency.

The blaze started Wednesday and was caused by lightning, the notification states.

The fire is approximately 3 acres and is 70 percent contained, according to an update posted on the agency's Facebook page this evening.

“The BIA Fire and Aviation Management are using full suppression tactics and a variety of resources to limit fire spread. All efforts are being taken to provide for public and firefighter safety,” the notification states.

An employee from the agency was posting copies of the notification in Toadlena today.

No structures have been damaged, said the employee, who did not provide his name.

In the notification, the agency warns that smoke will be visible from burning debris within the area of the fire and there may be inversion smoke at night.

Residents are encouraged to avoid the fire area and avoid access roads and trails.

For more information, contact Navajo Regional Fire Dispatch at 928-729-2307.

The Navajo Nation entered Stage 1 fire restrictions on July 20, according to an executive order from the tribe.

The tribe had been under Stage 2 restrictions but due to recent precipitation, the Navajo Forestry Department and the BIA Navajo Region Wildland Fire and Aviation Management recommended the reduction.

The executive order for Stage 1 was signed on July 20 by Navajo Nation President Russell Begaye, Vice President Jonathan Nez and BIA Navajo Region Director Sharon Pinto.

For more information about the restrictions, contact the Navajo Forestry Department at 928-729-4007.