Bosque wildfire burns through Isleta Pueblo

ISLETA PUEBLO, N.M. (KRQE) — The Isleta Pueblo is continuing to fight a fire that’s burned part of the Bosque and several acres of farmland.

The fire sparked just before 3 p.m. Sunday afternoon east of Highway 45 near the Palace West Casino. Strong winds quickly spread the flames into the nearby Bosque wild-land along the Rio Grande.

Isleta Pueblo Police Chief Kevin Mariano says the fire had burned at least 30 acres. And as of Monday morning, officials say the fire is fully contained.

Crews from the Isleta Pueblo, New Mexico Department of Forestry and several other local fire departments were still battling flames into late Sunday night with the work expected to continue into the morning.

Firefighters brought in heavy machinery Sunday afternoon to help build containment lines around the fire. By Sunday evening, Isleta Pueblo Police still had no estimate on any level of containment, however, according to Chief Mariano, crews were considering drawing down numbers in the evening after making progress fighting the fire.

Chief Mariano says the fire is burning in the area of about 30 homes. So far, no injuries or damage to structures has been reported.

“We don’t have any structures that have been part of the fire, in this case, we are looking at the evacuations if it’s necessary. We are doing as much as we can to gather as much information as we can as this is reported to us,” said Chief Mariano.

The Pueblo says if people are worried about the fire closing in on their property, they can evacuate to the Isleta Pueblo Rec Center. The evacuation is voluntary.

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The fire was very visible Sunday afternoon, throwing off a column of smoke that could be spotted in Belen and Albuquerque. Hundreds of drivers pulled over in the Isleta Pueblo and along Highway 47 to the east of the fire just to get a look. It was a concerning site for some.

“It is very early, and the fact that it’s so windy outside it’s just… it doesn’t look good for the start of the season,” said Brenda, a nearby Bosque Farms resident.

The Isleta Pueblo says it is prepared to close Highway 45 through the Pueblo if smoke causes any visible problems or if flames get close to the road.

All major highways are open.

The cause of the fire is still under investigation.

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