Fire started on Santa Clara Indian Reservation

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The Elk Fire is burning in grass, with adjacent grass and timber and spans 60 acres

By Special to the Monitor

A wildfire started on the Santa Clara Indian Reservation Sunday and now is burning on the southeast side of Chicoma Mountain, above Santa Clara Canyon on the Española Ranger District, Santa Fe National Forest.   

The Elk Fire, estimated at 60 acres late this morning, is burning in 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.  

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 Española Ranger District helicopter conducted several water drops Sunday and is continuing that work.

Other resources include 11 Forest Service and four BIA firefighters.

The fire is approximately eight miles north of Los Alamos and 19 miles west of Española.

Smoke may be visible from Española and Los Alamos.

Resources are also responding to a fire start reported a few miles east of Nambe, also on the Española District.  At present, fire managers think it is a burning snag.  

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