Officials in the drought-stricken west have warned residents of heightened fire risk of high winds.
The biggest spread out over more than 31.000 square miles (1.220 square kilometers), which many fire managers described as “mature and combustible,” owing to decades of mega-drought and the warm and windy conditions resulting from climate change.
Although the fire covers an area more than 1.5 times as large as New York City, the fire manager said there are still green areas in the surrounding area that could burn.
“We’re trying to go all the way around the edge of the fire and we want to keep the fire where it is right now,” Jayson Coil, a dispatcher assigned to the fire, said Wednesday of the use of bulldozers to cut broad lines that can block flames.
New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said that by the time that the reviews are complete, damage to homes and structures could number more than 1.000.
Lujan Grisham spoke Tuesday with President Joe Biden to emphasize the fires “impact on communities and the need for continued partnership with the federal government as the drought-ravaged state recovers and recoups from some of New Mexico’s most devastating wildfires.