Fires Continue to Burn at Carlsbad Caverns National Park

Staff Report
The Associated Press

CARLSBAD CAVERNS NATIONAL PARK, N.M. (AP) - The main cave at Carlsbad Caverns National Park remains open while fire crews battle blazes that have burned more than 9,800 acres.

Backcountry trails are closed in the southeastern New Mexico national park.

But evening bat flight programs that had been canceled are resuming as of Monday night.

Hot temperatures, low humidity and gusty winds have contributed to the growth of two fires called the Yucca Fire and the New Fire.

The New Fire has grown to 9,423 acres and has crossed onto Bureau of Land Management property.

The Yucca Fire has held at 450 acres.

The fires largely are burning a mixture of grass and shrubs.

Incident commander Craig Cowie says the 257 firefighters are making progress.

The park's scenic loop is closed to allow access for firefighters.