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West Hit by Wildfires; Mesa Verde Recovering

August 06, 2000|TIMES STAFF AND WIRES

MESA VERDE NATIONAL PARK, Colo. — Mesa Verde National Park, one of many Western parks and wilderness areas affected by wildfires this season, was scheduled to reopen this weekend, 15 days after lightning sparked a fire that burned more than 23,000 acres in and near the park.

In recent weeks, wildfires have raged through the West, including California's Sequoia National Forest, at an unusually high rate. The situation changes daily. For updates, call the National Interagency Fire Center at (208) 387-5050 or visit the Internet site http://www.nifc.gov.

At Mesa Verde, Superintendent Larry T. Wiese said the fire had "a profound impact" on the park's back country but that major cliff dwellings, built by ancestral Pueblo Indians, and the main visitor service areas were unaffected. However, some campsites and lodging remained closed last week.

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