Navajo Nation Responds To Fire Donations Concerns

June 23, 2014

(Courtesy of NASA Earth Observatory/Jeff Schmaltz/NASA GSFD)
This NASA photo shows an aerial view of the Assayii Lake Fire, which has been burning since June 13 in the Navajo Nation.

The Navajo Nation is responding to concerns that Assayii Lake fire donations may not be making it to wildfire victims. Officials said they’ve received death threats over the matter.

The story first surfaced over the weekend through reports from New Mexico-based news outlets. Some of the reports shared the concerns of a woman who had recently taken donations to the Navajo Nation, but was later told those items would be rerouted to a warehouse.

The concerns were magnified via social media outlets such as Facebook with hundreds of comments voicing frustration. Some users accused the administration of stealing.

Navajo Nation officials released a statement addressing the matter on Sunday. Rose Whitehair, the director of the Nation's Emergency Management Department, said the accusations are untrue, adding that all donations are tracked and all tribal laws regarding donations have been followed.

Officials estimate that about 140 people have been displaced from their homes since the Assayii Lake fire ignited a little more than a week ago.