Work begins to counter effects of NM wildfires

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By Susan M. Bryan

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Wildfires have charred nearly 100 square miles of dry, rugged terrain across New Mexico since the end of May.

The largest fire is still raging in the Gila National Forest, but teams of scientists are scouring dozens of square miles in northern New Mexico to assess the damage from two other blazes that are nearly contained.

The teams are looking at the severity of the burn, damage to the soil and possible effects to streams and roads throughout Pecos Canyon and at the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

In all, the Tres Lagunas Fire north of Pecos and the Thompson Ridge Fire on the preserve burned more than 53 square miles in less than three weeks.

Both blazes were 90 percent contained Tuesday.

The Silver Fire burning in the Gila is only 5 percent contained.