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Fire at New Mexico oil site being allowed to burn out

NAGEEZI, N.M. — Crews are monitoring a fire at an oil production storage site in northwestern New Mexico.

Tulsa, Oklahoma-based WPX Energy says the fire started Monday when 36 storage tanks caught fire. Seven tanks were still burning Wednesday, but officials say the extent of the fire had diminished.

The flames are being allowed to burn out, an approach the company says is being taken to protect responders. WPX says an investigation will determine the cause.

Crews were able to keep the fire contained on the five-acre site south of Nageezi, but some families have been displaced.

The tanks were holding either oil or produced water. Air quality is being monitored but environmentalists used the incident to push for a larger environmental study on the effects of oil and gas development.

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