Roads around Navajo Nation wildfire reopen

Posted: Updated:
By Jayson Chesler By Jayson Chesler

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- Firefighters have reopened all roads around a wildfire that has scorched nearly 23 square miles of terrain on the Navajo Nation just east of the Arizona-New Mexico border.

Navajo Nation officials say roadways reopened Wednesday morning, but only for those with certain permits.

Officials say others will still have to stay out of the area until the Navajo Nation can do a more complete assessment.

Crews say the Assayii (UH'-saw-he) Lake Fire is now 80 percent contained.

Firefighters are still clearing hot spots and tree debris and burned areas are considered unsafe.

Authorities say anyone driving in the area should proceed slowly for firefighter and public safety.

The human-caused fire began July 13 and forced evacuations from the rural communities of Naschitti (NAZ'-chit-ee) and Sheep Springs.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.