Las Conchas Fire Destroys Reservation Lands

Photo courtesy of Santa Clara Pueblo / NRC Partner

On the heels of the Wallow Fire threatening Arizona tribes, the Las Conchas Fire left the Santa Clara Indian Reservation in a state of emergency. The Las Conchas wildfire burned over 120,000 acres last week. The Governor of Santa Clara Pueblo said they’ve had wildfires before but this one is “unlike anything they have ever seen” – it spread so fast.  He declared a state of emergency, and the Governor of the State of New Mexico is expected to follow suit.

The largest in New Mexico history, the Las Conchas fire destroyed thousands of acres of land on the Santa Clara Indian Reservation. This included forested land, some cultural and historical sites, and about 6,000 acres of watershed, which will affect drinking water, water for livestock, and water for crops. Long term, Santa Clara will have to deal with contaminated run-off, and the Governor of Santa Clara sees major flooding as an oncoming risk due to the loss of forestation in the canyon.

In addition to the loss of acreage and natural resources, the Las Conchas fire was personally devastating to the people of Santa Clara, who are mourning the loss of sacred land.

National Relief Charities received a request for support from Santa Clara. We are responding to the emergency and will be transporting and distributing food items, water, respiratory masks, diaper wipes and cleaning supplies this week, through our ongoing partnership with the Santa Clara Senior Center.

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