THE LAS CONCHAS FIRE
The Las Conchas Fire began at approximately 1 PM on June 26, 2011 just west of the park. In its first 13 hours it burned over 44,000 acres or almost an acre a second. Over the next weeks it grew to over 156,000 acres and became the largest wildfire in New Mexico history. The fire started with a tree falling onto a power line. Once it began the extremely flammable vegetation from a record breaking dry year allowed the fire to grow quickly, pushed by strong winds toward the east and into the park. All the major watersheds within Bandelier were heavily impacted by the fire including Frijoles Canyon, where the visitor center and main visited archeological sites are located. Over 75% of Frijoles Canyon lay within the fire's footprint, much of it burned with high severity.