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Firefighters close to full containment of Wood Springs 2 Fire

Management of blaze will transition on July 10

Noel Lyn Smith
Farmington Daily Times
Wildland firefighters continue the response to the Wood Springs 2 fire on July 1 near Sawmill, Arizona.
  • The fire has grown to 12,861 acres.
  • In recent days, firefighters have worked to restore disturbed areas caused by suppression efforts on all sides of the fire.
  • Portions of the Kinlichee and Nazlini chapters in the Fluted Rock area remain on high alert for evacuation due to fire activity continuing in those locations.

SHIPROCK — Containment of the Wood Springs 2 Fire in Arizona has reached 96%, and management of the fire is scheduled to transition on July 10.

The Southwest Area Incident Management Team 5 took over response operations to the fire — which eventually grew to 12,861 acres — from the Bureau of Indian Affairs Navajo Region Wildland Fire and Aviation Management on June 30.

According to the July 9 update from Team 5, personnel and equipment will return to home agencies and the BIA Navajo Region team will take over fire suppression duties at 6 a.m. July 10.

"Southwest Area Incident Management Team 5 would like to thank the Navajo Nation for welcoming us into your community and for your partnership and support as we worked to protect your lands," the update states.

In recent days, firefighters have worked to restore disturbed areas caused by suppression efforts on all sides of the fire.

Fire burns alongside Navajo Route 7 on July 1 in an area west of Sawmill, Arizona.

They will monitor and patrol the fire perimeter on July 9, to ensure that containment lines will hold.

The air quality report for northeast Arizona generated by the U.S. Forest Service's Wildland Fire Air Quality Response Program states there is the potential for increased fire activity of some unburned fuels in the north portion of the fire zone.

Such fire activity is "due to low humidity, increased winds and more heat," the report states.

High pressure was expected to continue to build over the area on July 9 and July 10 due to rising temperatures.

"With increasing temperatures there is a slight chance that smoke may be visible from time to time, but no significant smoke impacts are anticipated," the report states.

The report lists the air quality index for San Juan County as good and the forecast for Farmington as "generally good air quality, light chance of smoke in the evening."

The lightning-caused fire started on June 27 and has been fueled by piñon, juniper, ponderosa pine, sage and grasses.

A firefighting helicopter is among the resources battling the Wood Springs 2 fire on July 1 near Sawmill, Arizona.

Up to 400 personnel responded to the blaze, which damaged five corrals, destroyed two outbuildings and caused minor damage to a hogan, according to the fire management reports.

Portions of the Kinlichee and Nazlini chapters in the Fluted Rock area remain on high alert for evacuation due to fire activity continuing in those locations.

The July 9 update from Team 5 reminds the public that the fire zone remains off limits to the public through an executive order by Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez.

Still closed to the public are Navajo Route 7 from Sawmill to Three Turkey Ruin Junction and Navajo Route 26 from where it meets Navajo Route 27 to Navajo Route 7.

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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