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Crews battle New Mexico wildfires

June 01, 2013|By Devin Kelly
  • A fast-moving blaze in New Mexico's Santa Fe National Forest prompted evacuations of residences and campgrounds, threatened upscale cabins and vacation homes, and closed a highway.
A fast-moving blaze in New Mexico's Santa Fe National Forest prompted… (Eddie Moore / Associated…)

New Mexico fire crews are battling a pair of wildfires that have burned thousands of acres and prompted the evacuations of homes and campgrounds.  

More than 5,300 acres have burned in a canyon in Santa Fe National Forest off Interstate 25, about 25 miles southeast of the capital city. Dense smoke is expected to descend on Pecos Valley residents at night as temperatures drop.  

About 140 summer homes in the area were evacuated, in addition to numerous trailheads and campgrounds, officials said. The American Red Cross has opened an emergency shelter at a local high school.

At the same time, the Thompson Ridge fire, burning about 80 miles west of Santa Fe, has reached about 800 acres, said Dan Ware, spokesman for the New Mexico State Forestry Division. The fire was ignited when a tree brushed on a power line.

An evacuation order was issued for between 40 and 50 homes in the area. Only six of the homes were occupied, with most being summer residences, Ware said.

Calmer winds Saturday were expected to be a boon for crews fighting both blazes.


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