The Navajo Nation has downgraded fire restrictions on the reservation to allow for the use of chainsaws to gather firewood for the coming winter.
The tribe implemented a heightened fire ban in May. It prohibited the use of power tools as the area experienced dry conditions and high wildfire potential.
“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 President Jonathan Nez in a press release. "The latest fire restrictions provide for flexibility to allow our Navajo people to use chainsaws to gather fire wood for the winter season, which was previously restricted during certain times of the day."
Leaders say the current ban still provides for public safety by prohibiting the use of all fires outside of developed sites, as well as the use of firearms and incendiary devices without a permit.