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Weather conditions may boost fire spread but progress continues against Wood Springs Fire

John R. Moses
Farmington Daily Times

FARMINGTON – Fire managers cited “significant progress” on July 4 against the Wood Springs 2 fire, which has charred 12,840 acres of Navajo Nation land near Sawmill, Arizona.

No air quality impacts were expected in the Farmington area on July 6, but areas around the fire zone in Arizona may see heavy smoke impacts at times.

The blaze is 42 percent contained, and firefighters have stymied the fire’s progress toward crossing Navajo Route 7. But the fire is still moving in the northwest fire zone.

“Fire behavior analysts expect the potential for continued fire activity to increase as dryer air and higher temperatures impact the fire today,” said Southwest Area Incident Management Team 5 Incident Commander Mark Bernal in his daily update. “On the west portion of the fire south of N-26, crews strengthened and secured containment lines. With the area mostly secure, personnel from that flank prepared to engage work and supplement crews elsewhere on the fire.”

Fire crews are still waiting for safer conditions to do a full damage assessment in the burned areas.

“Crews reported no additional structures damaged yesterday (July 4),” Bernal’s update said. “In total, four corrals, an outbuilding (a shed, barn, or outhouse) were destroyed, and a hogan had minor fire damage.”

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez ordered that the fire zone is off limits to the general public. Fire officials have warned residents of Sawmill and Fluted Rock to be ready to evacuate if necessary. Those area and others near the fire zone may see heavy smoke impacts, particularly at night.

“The general public should avoid the wildfire area so as not to interfere with firefighting efforts,” the update stated. 

Road Closures affect Navajo Route 7 from Sawmill to Three Turkey Ruin Junction. N26 is closed from the intersection of N27 out to Route 7. N27 and N201 remain open as of the morning of July 6.

Updates are available online on Inciweb at inciweb.nwcg.gov/incident/6813/ and on Facebook at BIA Wildland Fire Management – Navajo Region @BIANavajoRegion.

Contact John R. Moses at 505-564-4624, or via email at jmoses@daily-times.com.

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Wildland firefighters continue the response to the Wood Springs 2 fire on July 1 near Sawmill, Arizona.