Asayii Lake Fire rages on, 4 structures destroyed

GALLUP, N.M. (KRQE) – Four structures have burned in a wildfire on the Navajo Nation.

The Asayii Lake Fire has grown to more than 12,000 acres and is expected to grow more because of the weather.

Nearly 600 people are now working on fighting this fire which calmed down and didn’t grow overnight.

The fire has been active all day, burning in thick, rugged forests with little access.

The fire is mostly growing to the north and east near the town of Naschitti north of Gallup.

In all, crews say about 50 homes are being threatened in the area, but only 12 have been evacuated.

They believe around four structures have burned, but say that number isn’t solid and haven’t said what kind of structures those are.

All of this is burning on the Navajo Nation, about 19 square miles.

The good news is crews say the fire is pretty much done burning the highest elevation terrain.

Fire information officers says soon it will head toward a different fuel type on flat land.

“That’s the hope is that once it burns itself out in the timber country that it will reach the low lands and be able to make some significant progress on it – most likely mechanically – because they’ll be able to get some dozers in there to help expedite the fire line construction,” said public information officer Charlie Armiger.

About 400 people who live in the Naschitti and Sheep Springs area are still under evacuation notice.

Those folks are being told to go to the Tohachi High School gym.

Fire crews say this wildfire started when someone was trying to burn weeds.

Governor Martinez and Navajo Nation President Ben Shelley met with evacuees Tuesday.

 

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