Massive US Wildfires being Fuelled by High Winds And Warm Temperature
Nearly 66,000 acres of land so far has been burnt in the Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak fires and only 37 per cent has been contained, said the state's fire department in its latest update.
Washington: Massive wildfires are feared to be strengthened by high winds, dry air, and warmer temperature in the coming days even as around 300 structures have been destroyed in the US state of New Mexico, said the authorities.
Nearly 66,000 acres of land so far has been burnt in the Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak fires and only 37 per cent has been contained, said the state’s fire department in its latest update.
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Mike Johnson, a spokesman for the incident management team overseeing the Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak fires, said that when wind-fanned flames reach heights of more than 5 feet, crews can no longer attack the fire aggressively at its edges and must move farther away to a more defensive posture, quoted Xinhua news agency.
Another large fire, the Cerro Pelado Fire, which started one week ago and just 7 miles east of the village of Jemez Springs, also in northwestern part of the state, is burning in ponderosa pine and mixed conifer trees and brush with only 15 per cent contained.
According to the state’s fire department, three homes were lost in the fire and 7,245 acres had been burnt. On Thursday afternoon, a new blaze, named the Freelove Fire, started on the western side of the Valles Caldera National Preserve in the Freelove Canyon area.
Earlier this week, a 10-acre wildfire was reported on Alamo Navajo Indian Reservation, about four miles east of Alamo. In Ruidoso, the McBride Fire, which destroyed 207 homes earlier this month, was 95 per cent contained, while the accompanying Nogal Canyon Fire was fully doused, local media reported.
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said on Saturday that more than 20 wildfires burned in at least 16 of the state’s 33 counties last week, bolstered by gusty winds and drought conditions.
Northern New Mexico was expected to get winds picking up to more than 40 mph near the fires, said Jennifer Shoemake, the National Weather Service.
According to the latest data from the Southwest Coordination Center, wildfires have already burned more than 173,000 acres across the state so far this year, more than the figures in seven of the last eight years.
Wildfire season in the region normally starts in May or June but this year is dangerously early.
(With agency inputs)
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