Bandelier burn continues, up to nearly 1,000 acres

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By Special to the Monitor

The prescribed burn at Bandelier is being managed to protect human life and property and the Monument’s natural and cultural resources from the potential impacts of catastrophic wildfire by safely reducing forest fuels that have accumulated over the years, officials report.The burn is expected to last approximately eight-12 days if favorable weather conditions exist. Approximately 1,500 acres may be treated. The burn will occur in sections and will only continue if the burn remains within desired parameters.Burning is now complete in the flattest portions of the unit and is progressing into the steeper canyon terrain. Burning will continue only if the appropriate conditions exist. Colder temperatures at night and shorter days create an added element of control for this fire.Crews resumed ignition of the burn unit Tuesday after two days of patroling the fire and preparing for the next phase of the operation. They began with hand ignition along State Highway 4 on the east side of the burn unit to create a buffer zone between the interior of the unit and the highway. This was followed by aerial ignition by helicopter of a small interior portion of the unit. There have been no major smoke isssues from the prescribed fire at this point, although smoke along sections of State Highway 4 has been intermittent throughout the day.

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