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Monument rising from ashes of largest NM fire
Singed by a massive NM fire, Bandelier National Monument braces for different future
By The Associated Press

THE BOTTOM OF FRIJOLES CANYON, N.M. (AP) ' Tourist season is peaking in northern New Mexico but there are no visitors in the heart of much-loved Bandelier National Monument.

It's quiet, and it could remain that way for years.

Nearly two-thirds of the monument was scorched during the last month by the largest wildfire in New Mexico history. The Las Conchas fire burned across mesas and down canyons dotted with hundreds of archaeological sites.

The fire stopped a mile from the monument's largest concentration of prehistoric cultural sites. Also spared was the visitor's center at the bottom of Frijoles Canyon.

Monument officials say flooding is the latest concern as summer rains pound the massive burn scar.

The visitor's center is buttoned up tight in preparation for any flooding, but other parts of the monument are open to visitors.

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