Hundreds of homes destroyed in New Mexico wildfires
27 Apr 2022, 01:37 GMT+10
- In northern New Mexico, wind-driven wildfires destroyed hundreds of homes and buildings, and forced thousands to flee mountain towns
- Northwest of Las Vegas, New Mexico, two wildfires, the Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak fires, destroyed more than 200 buildings and an area of 42,341 acres
- To the northeast, a fire some 35 miles west of Taos doubled in size, becoming the largest fire burning in the U.S., forcing the evacuation of a scout ranch, and threatening several villages
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico: In northern New Mexico, wind-driven wildfires, which blazed unusually early this the year in the parched U.S. Southwest, destroyed hundreds of homes and buildings, and forced thousands to flee mountain towns.
According to state authorities, northwest of Las Vegas, New Mexico, two wildfires, the Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak fires, driven by winds reaching over 75 mph merged, ravaging through 15 miles of forest, destroying more than 200 buildings and destroying an area of 42,341 acres, larger than Florida’s Disney World.
To the northeast, a fire some 35 miles west of Taos doubled in size, becoming the largest fire burning in the U.S., forcing the evacuation of a scout ranch, and threatening several villages.
Amidst a decades-long drought and combined with abundant dry vegetation, the wildfires, the most severe of nearly two dozen in the U.S. Southwest, raised concerns that the region was in for a harsh year for wildfires.
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham told reporters, “We have a longer, more dangerous and more dramatic fire season ahead of us.”
The state had 20 active fires following “unprecedented” wind storm, she added, noting more than a dozen additional communities, including the town of Mora, were threatened.
According to scientists, climate change has lowered winter snowpacks and allowed larger and more extreme fires to start earlier this year.
Also, the Cooks Peak fire west of Taos has nearly doubled in size to 48,672 acres, threatening the town of Cimarron and forcing the evacuation of the Philmont Scout Ranch.
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