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Smoke in Los Alamos caused by 250-acre Guacamalla Fire

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Officials say fire will burn itself out soon

Los Alamos residents and people from north of Albuquerque to Jemez Springs are seeing increased smoke today from the Guacamalla Fire, approximately 50 miles southwest of Los Alamos and about five miles east of Ponderosa.

Fuels on the ground received additional moisture over the Labor Day weekend and as a result created a lot of smoke.

Los Alamos Fire Chief Doug Tucker said there is no cause for concern because the fire will soon burn itself out as it enters property scorched and barren from the Las Conchas Fire.

Because of the moisture level, the fire is burning slowly with low spread potential. Two miles east of the fire is the Las Conchas Fire burn area, and is not likely to spread east of the burn area. 

Presently, the fire has burned 165 acres and is holding north of Forest Road 266 and south of Forest Road 271.  

The fire is located within a remote area with rough terrain that is steep in some areas but mostly accessible by foot. Firefighters are continuing to monitor the fire and it is 30 percent contained.

Fire officials began searching for the fire, which was caused by a lightning strike, on Aug. 18 following heavy rains that prevented earlier entry into the area.  

Continued rains hampered firefighter's ability to locate the fire until Aug. 24.  Firefighters were then transported to the fire by one fire engine, two trucks, and two all-terrain vehicles (ATVs).