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Federal help sought to avert flooding at Santa Clara Pueblo

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SANTA CLARA PUEBLO, N.M. (AP) — Members of New Mexico's congressional delegation are asking the federal government for help to prevent possible flooding at Santa Clara Pueblo.

Sens. Jeff Bingaman and Tom Udall and Rep. Ben Ray Lujan say the northern New Mexico Indian community is as risk as a result of last summer's Las Conchas fire.

The historic blaze left the mountains above the community with little vegetation to hold back any rain or runoff.

The delegation members have sent a letter to the Interior Department, the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers. They're asking the agencies to renew their efforts to protect the pueblo.

They say in the last 15 years, wildfires have burned more than 80 percent of the pueblo's forest, resulting in the loss of natural resources, habitat and sacred sites.