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Wood Springs 2 fire reaches 8,999 acres on Navajo Nation

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times
Smoke from the Wood Springs Two Fire rises in the background on June 29 as trucks sit parked along Navajo Route 7 in the Fluted Rock area near Sawmill, Arizona.

GALLUP — Fire crews continue to respond to a wildfire burning in the Arizona portion of the Navajo Nation, and smoke from the blaze continues to impact the Four Corners area and beyond.

The smoke was expected to travel east and northeast toward Crystal, New Mexico with the possibility of moving over Ch'ooshgai Mountain toward Newcomb and Shiprock. Farmington was expected to be impacted during the afternoon and evening of July 1 as smoke was projected to stretch as far east as the Sangre de Cristo Mountains in Colorado and north into La Plata County, Colorado.

Residents can check the airnow.gov smoke map for updates.

The Navajo Department of Health and the Navajo Environmental Protection Agency issued on July 1 a smoke advisory for the areas of Wood Springs, Fluted Springs and Sawmill in Arizona.

"All residents should take precautions to protect their health from the wildfire smoke. Older adults, children, pregnant women and individuals who have heart or lung diseases are higher risk of being affected from wildfire smoke," the advisory states.

Smoke from the Wood Springs 2 fire is visible on June 29 in Kinlichee, Arizona.

Dry fuels, steep terrain drive fire's growth

The Wood Springs 2 fire has increased to 8,999 acres with no containment, according to the July 1 update by the Southwest Area Incident Management Team 5.

The lightning-caused fire remains active on both sides of the Upper Lone Tule Wash, northeast of Wood Springs, Arizona. It started on June 27 three miles east of Wood Springs.

Strong winds in recent days contributed to the fire's growth. But with wind conditions shifting, it continues to increase steadily due to dry conditions and steep topography.

Management team personnel stated in an online meeting on July 1 that the fire and response activities remain west of Navajo Route 7, which is closed from Sawmill, Arizona to Chinle, Arizona.

A helicopter and tanker are pictured on June 29 in a helispot next to the junction of Navajo Route 26 and Navajo Route 27 near Wood Springs, Arizona. Smoke from the Wood Springs 2 fire is visible.

The fire has not affected an overhead power line operated by Arizona Public Service Company, personnel reported.

Residents in Fluted Rock and Sawmill remain on high alert and are asked to prepare for potential evacuation.

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

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