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News Alert: The Elk Fire is burning approximately eight miles north of Los Alamos at 10,000 feet

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By The Staff

ESPANOLA — A wildfire started on the Santa Clara Indian Reservation Sunday continues burning on the southeast side of Chicoma Mountain above Santa Clara Canyon on the Espanola Ranger District in the Santa Fe National Forest.

The Elk Fire  is burning approximately eight miles north of Los Alamos and 19 miles west of Espanola and the smoke may be visible from both towns.

The fire had  burned an estimated 60 acres late this morning including grass with adjacent grass and timber.

The fire is burning above 10,000 feet and much of the area still has large snow patches, so fire managers predict low to moderate spread potential.

The suspected cause of the fire is lightning.

A Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) fire crew attempted to access the area Sunday but found it too steep to hike in.

The Espanola Ranger District helicopter conducted several water drops Sunday and is continuing that work today.

Other resources include 11 Forest Service and four BIA firefighters.

Resources are also responding to a fire start reported a few miles east of Nambe, also on the Espanola District.

At present, fire managers think it is a burning snag.

More fire updates will be provided when additional information is available.