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As the prescribed burn in the Upper Frijoles area of Bandelier National Monument winds down, Los Alamos National Laboratory plans to begin two prescribed burns Monday in an area known as Fence Canyon and Lower Potrillo Canyon.The laboratory’s prescribed burns, in Technical Area 68 and Technical Area 36, will take place along NM4 near White Rock. They start Monday, weather permittingThe lab’s Emergency Management Division is managing the burns, which will target a total of 88 acres of dead and fallen trees, shrubs and grasses. The locations are inside the areas where the lab’s Dynamic and Energetic Materials Division is located.The lab’s prescribed burns are preventive actions, intended to minimize risk of wildfires. “The burn is a maintenance effort to reduce the risk of an escaped fire and also to create a fuel break to protect our neighbors in White Rock,” said Manny L’Esperance, fire management officer in the lab’s press release.The lab announcement said the burns are expected to continue Tuesday and Wednesday, depending on conditions, and that smoke may be visible in the southwestern area of the laboratory near White Rock and Bandelier.
Bandelier wraps upMeanwhile, Bandelier National Monument’s senior official said ignition has been completed there and 1,500 acres have been successfully treated.“This fire has played a vital role in reducing hazardous fuels and helping perpetuate the resource values for which the monument was established,” said Bandelier’s Acting Superintendent Vito Spinale in a press release Thursday.Bandelier Fire Management Officer Gary Kemp said, “Firefighters will continue to monitor and patrol the fire. We do not expect any additional traffic delays or smoke impacts on local communities.”A smoky haze from the fire seemed to drift off to the southwest after the burn began on Nov. 7, but has hung over the townsite for the last several days.Trails in the vicinity of the burn will remain closed until it is safe to open them, according to the park’s press release.Updates on current trail status is available at 505-672-3861 x517.For more information regarding Bandelier’s fire management projects — call (505) 662-7065.