The chillier New Mexico weather has helped firefighters bring the nation’s biggest wildfire under control.

Authorities also assessed the ecological impact of the fire in their investigation of firepower and soil damage in sites prone to extreme erosion and excessive deforestation.

The blaze, which broke out close to seven weeks ago in the foothills of the Rockies, remained 40 percent contained Monday.

In addition to the cool temperatures the firefighters were supported at the weekend by helicopters and planes.

The fire started as two fires and became a wildfire.

The blaze ate more than 484 square miles of wood, grassland and brush; evacuations have been on hold for weeks.

Also Monday, the US Forest Service released a study of vegetation and soil damage in the 465 square kilometers of the Sangre de Cristo mountain range that has burnt down over the last several weeks, including public and private land.

Around one fifth of the area suffers from serious burns, which can result in severe or even dangerous erosion.

National Interagency Fire Center

The National Interagency Fire Center in Boise, Idaho is the physical facility which is the home to the National Interagency Coordination Center , and the National Multi-Agency Coordination group . (wikipedia)

Santa Fe National Forest

The Santa Fe National Forest is a protected national forest in northern New Mexico in the Southwestern United States. It was established in 1915 and covers 1,558,452 acres . Elevations range from 5, (wikipedia)

READ MORE:  Satellite images of Tonga prior to, after volcano eruption and tsunami