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Small fire continues to smolder in Bandelier

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A single-tree, lightning-caused fire in upper Frijoles Canyon was reported Monday evening in Bandelier National Monument.

The fire, the Frijoles Fire, is about 5 miles southwest of Los Alamos, creeping low and smoldering with flame lengths of less than 1 foot.

The area received some rain the same evening it was reported and weather forecasts predict thundershowers by early next week.

Low intensity, naturally caused wildfires burned the forested areas of the Jemez Mountains every seven to 15 years historically.

The area around the Frijoles Fire last burned in the 2011 Las Conchas Fire. Fire Managers at Bandelier are seeing this low intensity fire as an opportunity to reduce the fine fuel and debris on the forest floor by allowing it to burn. Doing so helps restore natural conditions in this fire-dependent ecosystem.

Firefighters are monitoring the Frijoles Fire and are ready take actions as necessary for public safety.

Smoke may be visible from N.M. 4 west of Los Alamos. Smoke-sensitive individuals and people with respiratory problems or heart disease are encouraged to take precautionary measures. Information on air quality and protecting your health by using the 5-3-1 visibility method can be found online at the New Mexico Department of Health


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