Shiprock fire 50% contained
Winds gusting up to 30 mph didn’t help fire crews battling the Salt Creek Fire along the San Juan River on Sunday afternoon.
The fire is 50% contained, according to reports from the Bureau of Indian Affairs Navajo Region Wildland Fire & Aviation Management.
The fire burned a total of 511 acres, fire officials added.
Flames more than 100 feet high shot into the sky as hotshot crews shot fire-inducing shells into the thick brush of trees along the river.
Authorities didn’t say what time the fire began but according to= Delegate Eugenia Charles-Newton, she and her family were awakened around 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning by a Navajo Police officer.
Charles-Newton said the officer informed her there was a fire behind her house and they might need to evacuate their home.
“The fire was so high it hovered over our house!” Charles-Newton wrote. “You could feel the heat from the flames!”
Charles-Newton said her husband grabbed the garden hose, “and I grabbed a shovel and we fought that fire with all we had!” she said.
After what seemed like an eternity, Charles-Newton said they saved their home and managed to contain the fire.
“Thank God nobody was hurt,” she said. “It was scary and when that adrenaline wore out (6:30 a.m.) we felt the pain.”
Fire officials said Navajo Police evacuated residents in the area of Mesa Farm Road, which is located northwest of the chapter house.