The United World College of the American West stands empty but intact as burning trees from Las Vegas, N.M. are shown behind it on Saturday, May 7, 2022.

A combination of intense winds, high temperatures and low humidity was predicted by the National Weather Service for an ‘exceptionally dangerous and likely historic stretch of critical to extreme fire weather conditions’

Over 1.500 firefighters were dispatched Sunday to bring the flames under control east and northeast of Santa Fe, which expanded a new 20 square miles overnight to an area more than twice the size of the city of Philadelphia.

While the city seemed exempt from danger only for now, rural areas were still on the edge of danger because of the United States “largest fire, the more than month-old fire, which was powered by winds so heavy that crews had to land all their fire-fighting airplanes.

The recent firemen’s effort to safeguard Las Vegas had “looking really good” but continuing into Saturday, said Todd Abel, a fire department official.

Firefighters, who normally need calmer winds and lower temperatures to make their way through the evening, were hampered by unexpectedly strong winds through the night.

The blaze eluded control and soon spread with another wildfire of unknown provenance.

Fire officials warned Las Vegas residents to be prepared to leave their homes and not abandon their guards as winds diminish.

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)