Firefighters continue response to wildfire northwest of Tohatchi

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON — Crew members from the Bureau of Indian Affairs Navajo Region Wildland Fire and Aviation Management are continuing response to a 6.5-acre wildfire on Ch'ooshgai Mountain northwest of Tohatchi.

Firefighters are using suppression resources and the fire — named North Chuska Peak — is not contained, according to an update posted this afternoon  on the BIA Wildland Fire Management – Navajo Region Facebook page.

The agency is using full suppression tactics and a variety of resources to limit fire spread, according to the post.

The agency warns residents that smoke will be visible from burning debris and there could be smoke inversion at night.

Residents are encouraged to avoid the fire area due to hazardous terrain, fire spread and to keep firefighters safe from potential transmission of COVID-19.

The fire was reported at about 1 p.m. on June 6.

The fire danger level on the Navajo Nation was raised to high by the agency on May 27, according the agency's Facebook page.

"With high fire danger, fires spread rapidly, ignite readily, start easily from most causes. Fires can become serious and difficult to control," the May 27 post states.

Stage 2 fire restrictions were issued for the reservation on May 15 in an executive order by tribal President Jonathan Nez, based on recommendations by the agency and the Navajo Forestry Department, due to extreme drought conditions and high fire danger.

Restrictions incorporate no open burning, including the use of fire to clear fields or to burn trash, and the use of wood burning and charcoal fires, campfires, warming fires and charcoal barbecues.

It also prohibits the use and operation of chainsaws or other internal combustion engines from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Noel Lyn Smith covers the Navajo Nation for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4636 or by email at

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