New Mexico and California wildfires prompt evacuations: NPR

A car drives down the road to Roswell, NM, as smoke from a wildfire partially blocks the sun, Tuesday, June 18, near the village of Ruidoso, NM. Thousands of southern New Mexico residents fled the mountain village as wind-whipped wildfires raged. Houses and other buildings were torn through.

Andres Leighton/AP


Hide title

Change the title

Andres Leighton/AP

Several wildfires in New Mexico and California have created evacuations, with intense fires growing quickly and making damage assessments difficult for local officials.

The South Fork Fire, which was first reported Monday morning in the village of Ruidoso in southern New Mexico, has now burned more than 15,000 acres and is 0% contained. According to the National Interagency Fire Center.

Governor Michael Lujan Grisham declared a state of emergency, ordering the evacuation of Ruidoso and nearby tribal lands. A declaration of emergency would help allocate resources from the National Guard to the state.

Grisham praised first responders and residents who helped those forced to evacuate.

“The number of New Mexicans who are helping themselves and sheltering in their own homes shows me once again the generosity and compassion of people in this state,” the governor said.

The fire has damaged or destroyed more than 500 structures, though Grisham said the severity of the fire required an overpass to map a more accurate damage estimate.

“It will allow us to see inside the fire in a way we can’t do now because it’s really dangerous to be in the heart of the fire,” he said.

A Ruidoso resident sleeps in a shelter in Roswell, NM after being evacuated from Ruidoso on Tuesday, June 18.

A Ruidoso resident sleeps in a shelter in Roswell, NM after being evacuated from Ruidoso on Tuesday, June 18.

See also  Dengue cases top 5.2 million in U.S. as outbreak passes annual record, PAHO says

Andres Leighton/AP


Hide title

Change the title

Andres Leighton/AP

For residents of Ruidoso, what should have been a 15-minute drive from downtown turned into a harrowing hour-long effort. According to The Associated Press, real estate agent Christy Hood said the eviction order came so quickly that she and her husband barely had time to pack up their children and dogs.

“The sky was on fire. It was bright orange,” Hood said. “Honestly, it was like a disaster. It was terrible and sparks were falling on us.

A second wildfire is burning about five miles southeast of the South Fork fire in southern New Mexico. The Salt Fire has burned about 7,000 acres and was 1% contained as of Wednesday afternoon, according to the wildfire monitoring app. Watch duty.

Northern California is battling its own new fires

New blazes also broke out in the northern part of the state this week after California fire crews began battling wildfires over the weekend.

The Aero Fire broke out Monday in the small Calaveras County community of Copperopolis, southwest of Sacramento. The fire has burned more than 5,000 acres and forced evacuations, with Calfire officials reporting three structures destroyed and one damaged. Local authorities have set up three evacuation centers, but the number of evacuees is unknown. As the wind decreased and humidity increased, firefighters were able to get the aero fire 33% contained.

See also  Georgia defeated TCU to win its second consecutive CFP Championship

Another wildfire, the Sides Fire, broke out Monday in Colusa County, about 100 miles north of San Francisco. The fire, which has burned more than 15,000 acres, is 5% contained, CalFire said.

But crews have reason to be optimistic about conditions in California’s Central Valley. The National Weather Service says a red flag warning for fire conditions will expire at noon Wednesday.

Firefighters are making progress in containing the more than 15,000-acre blaze that started Saturday in Los Angeles and Ventura County. State fire officials say the wildfire is 39% contained. Sonoma County’s Point Fire, which has burned more than 1,200 acres since it broke out Sunday, is 50% contained.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *