ALBUQUERQUE N.M. (Reuters) - Weaker winds
on Thursday allowed firefighters to gain ground on a wildfire that has
raged for seven days through parched pine woodlands and brush on a
Navajo reservation in northwestern New Mexico, a state fire official
The wind-driven Assayii Lake fire has charred more than 13,000
acres (5,261 hectares) since it erupted last Friday in the Chuska
Mountains, about six miles (10 km) east of the Arizona border, and
spread eastward toward the communities of Sheep Springs and
"The winds have died down and that has helped substantially," said
New Mexico fire information spokeswoman Lori Cook. The fire, which
has raged largely unchecked, was 20 percent contained as of late on
Thursday, she said.
More than 800 firefighters aided by helicopters dropping fire
suppression chemicals have battled wind gusts up to 50 miles per
hour which has fanned the fire.
"We had a lot of boots on the ground today and they were able to
establish a containment line on the westside of the mountain
stemming the spread (there)," Cook said.
Crews have sustained two minor injuries, Cook said. They have yet to
assess the full extent of the damage to residences and grazing land,
though nearly a dozen homes have been damaged.