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Tue July 5, 2011
As Las Conchas Fire Burns, New Fires May Be Sparked
By Sarah Gustavus
Albuquerque, New Mexico – The Las Conchas fire in northern New Mexico is no longer an immediate threat for Los Alamos. However, it is still not contained and 22 hundred firefighters are still battling the blaze. Residents of Los Alamos were able to return home yesterday. Los Alamos National Laboratory expects to open tomorrow. The fire has burned more than 127 thousand acres and destroyed at least 63 homes. The Santa Fe New Mexican reports it has damaged about 80 percent of Santa Clara Pueblo's forests. The fire is 27 percent contained. Fire Information Officer Arlene Perea says, "People need to watch out for ways they might accidentally start another new fire." Yesterday afternoon, the Cerrita fire started in the Santa Fe National Forest, about 5 miles North west of the Santa Fe Airport. It is estimated to be 5 acres. New Mexico is currently in a record drought and critical fire weather conditions exist across the state.