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Smoke from the Kellar Fire burning near Queen may be visible today as fire crews continue to battle the lightning-caused blaze.

As of 10 p.m. Tuesday, the 620-acre fire was still listed at 0-percent containment. The Kellar Fire was initially reported around 10 a.m. May 22.

Threatened are 403 structures in the community of Queen and the Sitting Bull Falls Recreation Area, but fire officials say a fire line north of Queen is keeping structures from immediate danger.

At 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, two Hot Shot crews began blackline operations at the junction of Last Chance Canyon and Sitting Bull Canyon, limiting fire spread to the north and east. Shortly after, aerial ignitions were conducted by helicopter.

Officials say the operation was successful, achieving 620 acres of perimeter enhancement.
Area residents are asked to note that Forest Service Road 276 at the Eddy County Road 409 junction (Sitting Bull Gate); Forest Service Road 277-C at FSR 277; FSR 68 at the N.M. 137 junction; FSR 525 at the N.M. 137 junction; and the Sitting Bull Falls day-use area and trail systems remain closed.

Crews will be conducting ignitions operations again today, and smoke may be visible from Queen, Carlsbad and Artesia.