State high schools were closed and evacuation baggage packed earlier this week as a wildfire broke out several miles from Los Alamos and a nearby U.S. government safety laboratory.
Emergencies battling the largest wildfire in New Mexico history are trying to capitalize on days of mild winds to bring under control a fire that had charred over 450 square miles by Sunday.
Winds had been initially predicted to ease later in the week, but fire officials said that was unlikely to happen before Monday.
‘We get a small reprieve,’ Fire department spokeswoman Renette Saba said Sunday.
Saba said the fire burned only on one side, with the northern section stretching across an old scar zone creating a large plume of smoke.
In Colorado, the fire, which burned about 1.8 square miles southwest of Colorado Springs in Ponderosa pine and grass, had reached 4.6 square miles by Sunday and had been contained by 10 percent, the Fire Department said.
Fires have destroyed at least 473 buildings so far, which also includes homes and other buildings.