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New Mexico wildfire forces closure of Gila Cliff Dwellings

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument will close this weekend while crews continue efforts to contain a wildfire in the Gila National Forest.

The National Park Service said Thursday that the Cliff Dwellings will shut down beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday and until further notice. The lightning-caused blaze, which was first reported May 20, has burned roughly 60 square miles.

Firefighters will conduct burn-out operations west of the Cliff Dwellings on the so-called Johnson Fire. The hope is to reinforce fire lines and keep the blaze from getting to the Cliff Dwellings or the community of Gila Hot Springs.