Medio Fire uncovers historical structures in Santa Fe National Forest

Wildfires

SANTA FE, N.M. (KRQE) – As firefighters continue to battle the Medio Fire in the Santa Fe National Forest, archaeologists are saying there have been some historical benefits that have come from the blaze. They say, to a certain extent, they’re thankful for the wildfire.

Jana Comstock, a zone archaeologist, says the fire has exposed historical features in the area. One of those features is a bridge that was built some time in the 1930’s. Over the years, it had been covered by overgrown vegetation.

“Because of the fire going in there, in the clearing of the brush, in order to save this resource, they finally exposed the beauty of this thing,” says Steven La-Sky, public information officer. At the moment, La-Sky says the Medio Fire is 54% contained and has burned 3,422 acres. As crews continue to try to put it out, part of the goal is to make sure historical structures like this bridge are protected from future fires.

“The next step is to get all the vegetation out on the other side of the features,” says Comstock. While this particular bridge will be safe from the fire, Comstock says other historical structures they’ve found are getting dangerously close to the flames.

“At the current boundary that the fire is at right now, we probably have 5-10 that could be impacted and in the near perimeter,” she says. That is why Comstock and her team are keeping in contact with fire crews to make sure the flames don’t come too close.

Fire officials are hopeful, with the recent rain storm, the fire will be completely put out in the next few days. Officials believe the fire will continue to spread into the 2011 Pacheco Fire burn scar.


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