Lightning ignited some fresh small fires Monday in the drought-battered Southwest, but its storms brought welcome rain for the monster blaze, which has rampaged in New Mexico for one month and is now the largest in the state’s history.

On Monday, the National Weather Service predicts “near critical” weather conditions for wildfires that will give firefighters a challenge as they struggle to step up curbing the blaze, which was as low as 27 percent as Monday morning.

In recent weeks, bans and firefighting restrictions have been imposed in towns and county across New Mexico as well, and officials warned that any new wildfire outbreak would put more strain on firefighters “resources.

The larger picture: the nearby Calf Canyon fire is the result of a combination of two fires, one of which – the Hermit’s Peak Fire – was a mandatory combustion defined by the federal government by April 6.

Reinforced airstrikes also helped more than 1.000 firefighters advance Monday at a major blaze west of Santa Fe.

Calf Canyon Fire is indeed the largest wildfire in the United States this year

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)

Los Alamos National Laboratory

Los Alamos National Laboratory is a United States Department of Energy national laboratory initially organized during World War II for the design of nuclear weapons as part of the Manhattan Project. (wikipedia)

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