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Updated: Monday, 27 Jun 2011, 12:25 PM MDT
Published : Monday, 27 Jun 2011, 8:28 AM MDT
LOS ALAMOS, N.M. (KRQE) - As of 3 a.m. on Monday, the Las Conchas fire burning 12 miles south of Los Alamos was estimated to have consumed over 43,000 acres.
Putting this in perspective, the flames were visible as far south as Albuquerque in nighttime hours. It was not until Monday morning that the flames calmed down. Fire fighters are counting on that calm down to get some kind of a grasp before the sun comes up and the day heats up.
Lawrence Lujan from the Santa Fe National Forest said it appears the fire has reached the Bandelier National Park.
Over 30 structures have burned in the fire, primarily in Cochiti mesa and tent rock area.
Voluntary evacuations were put in place on Sunday night around 8 for White Rock and Los Alamos. As of Monday morning, those voluntary evacuations remained in place. The only mandatory evacuations were for residents in Cochiti Mesa and Las Conchas. That also includes people staying in the Jemez Falls campground and Bandelier National Monument.
The Los Alamos National Lab, the Bandelier National Monument and the Valles Caldera National Preserve have been closed.
Los Alamos County officials stress there is currently no urgency in the voluntary evacuations, but they want everyone to be prepared.
Santa Fe officials say they have prepared the gymnasium at Santa Fe High School as a shelter in case evacuations become mandatory.