Corrales, Sandia bosque fire blamed on fake cigarette

Jul 6, 2012

Corrales officials say a fire that burned more than 350 acres of the wooded area along the Rio Grande last month was most likely sparked by an electronic cigarette.

Village Administrator John Avila says an employee apparently dropped the device while patrolling on June 20. The employee realized the device was gone after ducking under a tree limb. The fire started soon after.

The employee tried to put out the flames, but Avila says the dry brush was quick to ignite.  The fire then jumped to the east side of the river.  The majority of the lands burned are on the Pueblo of Sandia.

Police say no charges will be filed because the cause was ruled accidental.

Avila says the village is handling the case as a personnel matter. He declined to release the employee's name.

The village is now considering a new ordinance that would prohibit electronic cigarettes in the bosque.