All four buildings UNM owns on the former John Young Ranch property in northern New Mexico were damaged in the Las Conchas fire. The most serious damage was done to the main house where the Dept. of Anthropology normally conducts field schools for students. Physical Plant Director Mary Vosevich says her first impression of the destruction she saw on Tuesday was devastation.
The pump house was burned, and the bunk house and garage suffered minor damage. When Vosevich visited the property it was still smoldering. She says UNM will work with the State Land Office to restore power to the property as soon as it is feasible. The fire itself is still burning out of control.
UNM will file for damages with the State Risk Management Department. It's not clear what will be done on the property in the long term. Vosevich says she is very concerned about erosion. The buildings sit at the bottom of a canyon and almost all vegetation has been burned from the canyon walls. If the monsoons come during the month of July, there is nothing to stop the soil on the hillside from sliding down the canyon. She is hoping that some erosion control measures can be taken swiftly.