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Shiprock fire 50% contained

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
Two hotshot crew members with the BIA Wildland Hotshots stand at the edge of a cliff overlooking the San Juan River as flames caused by fire suppressions shoot into the sky on Sunday in Shiprock.


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!”

Navajo Times | Donovan Quintero
A BIA Wildland Hotshot stands at the edge of the San Juan River as flames caused by fire suppressions, which helps to contain the Salt Creek Fire, shoot into the sky on Sunday in Shiprock.

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.

About The Author

Donovan Quintero

"Dii, Diné bi Naaltsoos wolyéhíígíí, ninaaltsoos át'é. Nihi cheii dóó nihi másání ádaaní: Nihi Diné Bizaad bił ninhi't'eelyá áádóó t'áá háadida nihizaad nihił ch'aawóle'lágo. Nihi bee haz'áanii at'é, nihisin at'é, nihi hózhǫ́ǫ́jí at'é, nihi 'ach'ą́ą́h naagééh at'é. Dilkǫǫho saad bee yájíłti', k'ídahoneezláo saad bee yájíłti', ą́ą́ chánahgo saad bee yájíłti', diits'a'go saad bee yájíłti', nabik'íyájíłti' baa yájíłti', bich'į' yájíłti', hach'į' yándaałti', diné k'ehgo bik'izhdiitįįh. This is the belief I do my best to follow when I am writing Diné-related stories and photographing our events, games and news. Ahxéhee', shik'éí dóó shidine'é." - Donovan Quintero is an award-winning Diné journalist, who is based in Window Rock, Arizona. He can be contacted at dq@navajotimes.com.


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