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High Winds Fan Wildfires in New Mexico

June 26, 1989|From United Press International

High winds Sunday fanned two wildfires that have blackened 30,000 acres in southwestern New Mexico, but the U.S. Forest Service said it was optimistic about containing one of them soon.

The blaze on the Gray ranch in New Mexico's boot heel grew to 21,000 acres, but Ken Palmrose, a U.S. Forest Service spokesman in Silver City, N.M., said firefighters were making gains.

About 188 firefighters were battling the blaze 23 miles southeast of Animas in rugged canyon country.

Another 1,000 people battled the "Shelley" fire in the Gila Wilderness, where winds fanned flames up canyon walls and beyond fire lines Saturday.

One firefighter was airlifted to Silver City and treated for smoke inhalation at a hospital.

The Shelley fire had burned an estimated 10,000 acres of pine, juniper and pinon trees.

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