“An estimated 6.000 residents had to be evacuated as major wildfires continued to spread across the southwestern US mountain state of New Mexico,” the state Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said Tuesday.
President Joe Biden declared the New Mexico wildfires that have raged for weeks a “Great catastrophe” that would set aside millions of dollars in aid for people affected and in local recovery efforts.
Hundreds of houses have been destroyed since widespread wildfires broke out in mid-April, then coalesced in the state’s northeast, and the number of buildings burned is likely to be much higher, the governor added.
The forest fires in the region usually begins in May or June, but this year it is dangerously early and has no moisture in the ground due to catastrophic weather and persistent mega-drought.
Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fire, one of New Mexico’s largest fires to date, burned 160,104 acres, more than a quarter of which were contained through Wednesday, according to the fire department.
A dozen wildfires burned across 4.000 square miles of tract across five US states, including New Mexico, according to data from the National Interagency Fire Center published on Tuesday.
New Mexico Fire Information continues to predict ‘critical fire weather’ while employees focus on extinguishing the fire.