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U.S. Forest Service Sparked New Mexico Wildfire

(The Federalist) – The U.S. Forest Service revealed Monday the agency caused a New Mexico wildfire in the spring of last year that burned across 60 square miles and almost reached Los Alamos.

The Cerro Pelado fire, which burned in April 2022 under dry and windy conditions, threatened the city of nearly 20,000 people and forced the evacuation of nearby schools before firefighters were able to get the blaze under control. A nearby national security lab also faced flames “where assessing apocalyptic threats is a specialty and wildland fire is a beguiling equation,” according to the Associated Press.

A Monday report from the U.S. Forest Services concluded the federal agency was to blame over a prescribed burn that officials failed to fully extinguish.

U.S. Forest Service Southwestern Regional Forester Michiko Martin said in a press release the fire “was caused by a holdover fire from the Pino West Piles Prescribed Fire.”

“A holdover fire is a fire that smolders undetectably,” Martin said. “In this case, despite being covered by wet snow, this holdover fire remained dormant for [a] considerable time with no visible sign of smoke or heat.”

Last year’s wildfire was not the first time an investigation found the Forest Service culpable in runaway flames. Last year, the forest agency…

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