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Bosque Patrols Spot Illegal Campfire

Extra patrols are already working in the City's treasured Bosque, but people still aren't heeding the important warnings.

Investigators believe someone may be intentionally setting fires in Albuquerque's treasured Bosque. The City has set up extra patrols in an effort to prevent a catastrophe and catch whoever is responsible. Extra patrols are already working, but people still aren't heeding the City's warning.

On Monday, February 22, 2016, Officers in the Police Department's Air Support Unit located a small campfire in the dry brush. Both the City's Fire Department and Police Department sent crews to the scene. They quickly extinguished the fire, and found Melvin Holyan, 43, illegally camping next to the smoldering flames. Melvin told officers he was homeless and had been drinking alcohol all day. He was taken to the Metropolitan Assessment and Treatment Center which provides services to homeless individuals.

The Albuquerque Fire Department, the City's Open Space Volunteers and the Police Department have ramped up patrols in the Bosque in an effort to further protect the area.

Tuesday, February 23, 2016, AFD also reminded residents Stage 1 Restrictions are in place throughout the year in the City’s Open Space Areas. This means camping, campfires, open flames, fireworks and chainsaws are prohibited.

There is also a $1,000 reward, offered by Albuquerque Mayor Richard J. Berry, for information leading to an arrest and conviction in this case. Anyone who notices suspicious activity in the Bosque or who has tips concerning the current fire bug(s), is asked to call (505) 242-COPS.

Anyone interested in becoming an Open Space Volunteer can call (505) 452-5207 or visit: http://www.cabq.gov/parksandrecreation/programs-lessons/open-space/open-space-volunteer

APD Air One Video

View the video of APD's Air One Patrol from Feb. 22, 2016