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Fire Closes Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

Fire Closes Carlsbad Caverns National Park, New Mexico

A wildfire closed Carlsbad Caverns National Park on June 14, 2011, and forced the evacuation of White City, New Mexico. The fire, called the Loop Fire, was first reported on June 13, and the cause is under investigation. By 2:30 local time on June 14, the fire had burned about 16,000 acres in steep and rugged terrain and was 10 percent contained.

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite acquired this image of the Loop Fire at 12:10 p.m. local time. The fire is outlined in red and is burning near the east entrance to the park. Much of the dark-colored land to the west of the fire is natural vegetation growing in Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

NASA image courtesy the MODIS Rapid Response Team at NASA GSFC. Caption by Holli Riebeek.

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