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(Photo Courtesy David Grousnick)

Many residents expressed alarm Monday morning after noticing clouds of smoke drifting high over the Cottonwood area north of Artesia. Eddy County Fire Service Director Joshua Mack confirmed Tuesday the fire was a controlled burn along Pearson Road. Due to no water source on site, the Cottonwood Volunteer Fire Department was on hand to extinguish the flames once their aim had been accomplished.