Investigators Determine Cause of Las Conchas Fire
Incident: Las Conchas Wildfire
Posted on July 3, 2011 by Dan Ware | Edit
Santa Fe - An interagency investigative team led by New Mexico State Forestry has been determined that the Las Conchas Fire was caused by a fallen tree that caught fire after coming into contact with nearby power lines, according to New Mexico State Forester Tony Delfin.
Investigators from New Mexico State Forestry, the USDA Forest Service, New Mexico State Police and Sandoval County conducted the investigation and were on scene shortly after the fire started on Sunday, June 26. Since then, the fire has burned more than 121,248 acres.
Investigators believe the fire started after an aspen tree was blown down onto nearby power lines during a period of strong winds. The contact resulted in the line arcing, which then caused the tree to catch fire. Heat and flame caused the line to snap, which then allowed the burning tree to fall onto the ground where the fire spread into nearby vegetation.
"I'm very appreciative of the efforts of all the investigators in this case," said Defin. "We value the relationship we have with our partner agencies, especially when faced with a devastating wildfire such as the Las Conchas. Working together is vital when it comes to not just fighting the fire, but also determining how it started."
Media note: For questions regarding the investigation, please contact Dan Ware with New Mexico State Forestry - 505-476-3336