Nevada tribe blasts BIA over response to fire

Members and leaders of the Fort McDermitt Paiute and Shoshone Tribe of Nevada say Bureau of Indian Affairs has ignored their pleas for assistance in the wake of a fire that burned 3,000 acres of the reservation

The October 29 fire destroyed one family's home and tribal members' property. The power went down for two days and the tribe went without water for a week because the Bureau of Land Management used the one water tank on the reservation to fight the fire.

The tribe received assistance from the Burns Paiute Tribe, which sent a truckload of food and water. But the BIA hasn't been helpful, chairwoman Karen Crutcher said. "I felt confident that we were going to get help. But that didn't happen at all," she told The Reno Gazette-Journal.

BIA employees said they have provided as much as help as possible but that the tribe and its members need to take responsibility. "Limited funding causes us to provide limited services," the local superintendent told the paper. "We don't have the resources. We're not a cure-all agency."

The tribe is located in a remote part of Nevada near the Oregon border. Many tribal members live in homes without running water. With few jobs on the reservation, unemployment is high.

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