'A very serious fire'

Medicine people say Assayii Lake fire is telling us something

(Times photo - Donovan Quintero)

The Assayii Lake Fire lights up the night sky early Tuesday morning on the Chuska Mountains west of Naschitti, N.M. According to the Southwest Area Incident Management Team 3, over 13,200 acres has burned as of Wednesday morning.

By Alastair Lee Bitsoi
Navajo Times

NASCHITTI, N.M., June 19, 2014

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(Times photo – Donovan Quintero)

Spots of fires can bee seen on part of the Chuska Mountain range early Tuesday morning near Assayii Lake. Three days of high winds, hot conditions and low humidity prevented wild land fire fighters and their firefighting helicopters and airplanes from battling the fire, which has burned more than 13,200 acres as of Wednesday morning.

In an effort to help control the Assayii Lake Fire, medicine healers like Gladys Plummer are turning to prayer, singing and chanting — her knowledge system of the natural world.


High winds make it impossible for fire crews to contain fire

At a community update meeting regarding the fire Tuesday, which has grown to 13,250 acres in Chooshgai Mountains as of Wednesday, Plummer requested local traditional healers and others from different faiths to assist her in prayer. This is the largest fire in the Chooshgai Mountains in over 70 years, according to fire information officers.

The hand trembler, whose hands were shaking while conducting the ritual, offered a Fire Protection Way song and prayer for the impacted communities, forest life and wildlife.

After conducting her ritual, the medicine woman offered these words to community members: "Just love one another."

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