LOCAL NEWS

Navajo Nation Moves to Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, Allowing Use Of Chainsaws

Sep 16, 2020, 6:43 PM | Updated: 6:49 pm
FILE: An American flag with an image of Native American on it is attached to a fence outside a home...
FILE: An American flag with an image of Native American on it is attached to a fence outside a home in the East To'Hajiilee housing community in To'Hajiilee Indian Reservation (Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)
(Photo by Sam Wasson/Getty Images)

WINDOW ROCK, Ariz – Navajo Nation officials signed an executive order moving the reservation into Stage 1 fire restrictions, which allows the use of chainsaws to gather firewood for the coming winter.

Stage 1 lifts some restrictions that were put into place when the reservation implemented Stage 2 restrictions in May.

Before Wednesday’s announcement, chainsaws were not allowed to be used during certain times of the day due to the fire threat.

“With devastating wildfires occurring in several states in the southwest, we must proceed with extreme caution in order to prevent any wildfires and to ensure the safety of our communities on the Navajo Nation,” said Navajo Nation President Johnathan Nez.

Following last week’s windstorm that blew down hundreds of trees in Utah, the Urban Indian Center and Utah Navajo Health System started collecting firewood for donation to Utah’s tribes.

The Urban Indian Center of Salt Lake and Utah Navajo Health System, Inc. are collecting firewood from trees that were…

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Friday, September 11, 2020

The Stage 1 Fire Restrictions prohibit the following:

  • Possession, manufacturing, sale or use of fireworks or other pyrotechnic devices pursuant to 17 N.N.C. § 2733
  • Building, maintaining, attending, or using a fire, campfire, charcoal, coal; except campfires and charcoal to be used in developed sites where fire rings or grills are provided
  • Using a firearm and incendiary devices, without a valid permit

The following activities are allowed, but people are urged to use extreme caution:

  • Smoking, which is recommended only in permitted areas, within an enclosed vehicle, traditional and ceremonial uses, and while stopped in an area at least six feet in diameter that is barren or cleared of all flammable materials.
  • Persons who regularly reside within the closed area are permitted to go to and from their homes and continue ordinary activities that do not create an unreasonable fire hazard;
  • Propane, gas or other petroleum-fueled stoves will be allowed for livestock branding;
  • Ceremonial fires, properly registered and permitted by the Navajo Nation Environmental Protection Agency through a Navajo Nation EPA Burn Registration, five (5) days prior to ceremony. To obtain a Burn Registration, please contact Navajo Nation EPA Air Quality at (928) 729-4156.  Mail: NN Air Quality, PO Box 529, Fort Defiance, AZ 86504, FAX: (928) 729-4323 or email: kaelynnmorgan@navajo-nsn.gov;
  • Persons with a written permit/bonding/license that specifically authorizes the otherwise prohibited act;
  • Persons conducting activities in those designated areas where the activity is specifically authorized by written posted notice;
  • Any Federal, State, or local officer or member of an organized rescue or firefighting force in the performance of an official duty; and
  • The implementation of Low Complexity Prescribed Fire which meet prescriptions approved by the Agency Administrator under an approved Burn Plan.

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Navajo Nation Moves to Stage 1 Fire Restrictions, Allowing Use Of Chainsaws