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.

“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.

One of the fires, Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak, began in mid-April as two major fires and spread across northern New Mexico more than a week ago, where high winds have lingered in 24 of the past 30 days.

While the region’s wildfire season usually begins in May or June, this year it came perilously early, CNN meteorologist Monica Garrett said last week.

Fire conditions in April were the worst the state has experienced in more than a decade.

In five U.S. states, including New Mexico, about a dozen uncontained wildfires were burning across about 1.000 square kilometers (1.000 square miles), according to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Joe Biden

Joseph Robinette Biden Jr. is an American politician who is the 46th and current president of the United States. A member of the Democratic Party, (wikipedia)