The burning pine trees approximately 10 miles (10 kilometers) from Priscilla Crespin’s home are the largest wildfire in the United States and the first to compel the 81-year-old to leave the small northeastern New Mexico community she spent most of her life in.

During a briefing on this fire in Northeastern New Mexico, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham signed a motion for a presidential emergency declaration, which is to be sent to the White House with the hope of freeing up funding to reconstruction efforts.

Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said it’s important to make the statement now rather than wait for the fire to burn out.

“I’m unwilling to wait,” said Gov. Grisham, a Democrat run for reelection.

Residents in the small Northeastern New Mexico town of Las Vegas had already expressed disquiet about the closure of grocery stores as some people decided to flee the flames early despite no evacuation order.

Fire crews said at an evening briefing at the local community highschool that the spread slowed some of the week later, and that the amount of newly burned land risen slightly to about 231 acres of hillsides, towering pine trees and meadows.

The county jail, the state mental hospital, and more than 200 students from United World College were evacuated and businesses that went unfilled struggled to find workers as more people were forced off their homes.

Congregational schools also cancelled classes at least until Wednesday.

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)