Crews make progress in battling Navajo fire; blaze 20 percent contained

Created: 06/19/2014 8:33 PM
By: Associated Press

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - Firefighters have made more progress in containing a wildfire on the Navajo Nation that has consumed more than 21 square miles, including grazing lands that tribal livestock owners have used for centuries.               

Fire officials said Thursday evening that the Assayii Lake Fire is 20 percent contained.               

The blaze has destroyed at least five structures. About 50 homes near the rural communities of Naschitti and Sheep Springs remain threatened with some in Naschitti evacuated.             

Crews plan to continue building containment lines on the fire's northeast and southern flanks and mopping up hot spots.             

Forecasters say the winds should be calmer than previous days at 10 mph or less.             

The human-caused fire has been burning since Friday in acres of pinon and juniper forest.

(Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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