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New Mexico battles largest fire in state history

A satellite image shows the active fire lines of the Hermits Peak wildfire, in Las Vegas, New Mexico, on May 11. Associated Press/Photo by Maxar Technologies

New Mexico battles largest fire in state history

Firefighters are struggling to contain the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire, which had burned 299,565 acres and 260 homes and was 26 percent contained as of Tuesday. Thousands of homes in northern New Mexico are under mandatory evacuation orders.

How did it start? Two separate fires merged April 23. The Hermits Peak fire started April 6 in the Pecos Wilderness after embers from a controlled burn escaped containment and sparked small fires. The cause of the Calf Canyon fire, which started April 19 north of Las Vegas, is still under investigation. Thunderstorms on Monday dropped some rain on the region, allowing 2,000 firefighters to drop more fire retardant from helicopters. But meteorologists expect the favorable conditions to change as unpredictable winds intensify throughout the week.

Dig deeper: Track the blaze and firefighters’ progress through the government’s Incident Information System.

Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.


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