Assayii Lake Fire burning 11,000 acres

Posted at: 06/16/2014 2:28 PM
Updated at: 06/16/2014 9:03 PM
By: Elizabeth Reed,

Smoke over Naschitti from the Asaayi Lake Fire.
Smoke over Naschitti from the Asaayi Lake Fire.
Photo: Viewer submitted: Nikki

A spokesman with the Southwest Area Incident Management Team 3 says the Assayii Lake Fire has grown to 11,000 acres in the Chuska Mountains. They believe the fire could reach Sheep Springs and Naschitti by Monday night.

The Naschitti community has been instructed to be prepared to evacuate. Residents have been advised that people with breathing problems can evacuate. Evacuees can go to Tohatchi High School and Tohatchi Middle School.

Classes for Newcomb and Naschitti schools are also canceled Tuesday.

Sheep Springs residents should also be prepared to evacuate if needed.

Around 700 firefighters will arrive to the area by Monday evening. Officials say the wind is preventing firefighters from getting close to the fire and they expect winds to worsen Tuesday.

The spokesman said they may have to wait until Wednesday before they can get firefighters close to the fire.

According to a post on the Navajo Nation Dept. of Fish & Wildfire's Facebook page, a Type 2 Command Team is now in charge of all operations with assistance & collaboration from Navajo Nation. They have a command center set up at the Crystal Multi-Purpose Building located in Crystal, NM. For additional information & donations please contact the command center directly at 505-777-2800.