Thousands evacuated as wildfires ravage New Mexico

Thousands evacuated as wildfires ravage New Mexico

/ 06:00 PM June 19, 2024

New mexico wildfire

This image obtained courtesy of Pamela L. Bonner via X (formerly known as Twitter) shows the Salt Fire burning in Ruidoso, New Mexico, as seen from the White Mountain Sports Complex on June 17, 2024. 7,000 residents of the small resort town of Ruidoso in New Mexico were forced to evacuate in the face of a spreading, uncontained wildfire, as extreme heat and high humidity smothered the central and northeastern United States on June 18. Agence France-Presse

LOS ANGELES — Two wildfires burning out of control in New Mexico forced more than 7,000 people to flee Tuesday from a mountainous region of the southwestern US state, where 500 structures have been damaged or destroyed.

The fires broke out Monday in a rural area about a 90-minute drive from the Mexican border, and have encircled the town of Ruidoso, where residents have been hastily evacuated.


“I strongly urge residents of Ruidoso and the surrounding areas to remain calm and heed official instructions to help minimize risk,” Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said on X, the former Twitter. She declared a state of emergency in the region.


READ: Wildfire north of Los Angeles spreads as authorities issue evacuation orders

By mid-day Tuesday, the two blazes were zero percent contained, and had scorched some 30 square miles (80 square kilometers) and impacted more than 500 structures, according to New Mexico fire authorities.

The larger South Fork fire grew rapidly and has exhibited “extreme” behavior and “intense heat,” according to the latest bulletin. Authorities fear strong winds could complicate firefighting efforts.

READ: California blaze raises fears for dangerous wildfire season

New Mexico has endured years of persistent drought, which scientists say has been aggravated by climate change.

Elsewhere in the American West, California is experiencing its biggest fire of the year. It has burned over 23 square miles since Saturday, although no evacuations have been ordered.


Experts say it could be an indicator of an intense fire season in California, the nation’s most populous state, after two wetter-than-average years.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

TAGS: weather, wildfire

© Copyright 1997-2024 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.