Crews still fighting flames across NM

Crews still fighting flames across NM

20 June 2011

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USA — Firefighters continue to work on major wildfires burning in different parts of the state, while bracing for dangerous winds and looking out for smoke warnings.

Officials battling Arizona’s largest wildfire ever said residents of Greer will be allowed to return to their homes Monday, two weeks after they were ordered to flee.

The Wallow Fire has consumed nearly 800 square miles of forest in eastern Arizona and parts on New Mexico and was 44 percent contained as of Sunday morning.

The small New Mexico town of Luna is still under an evacuation order, although about half of its 200 residents have decided not to leave.

Meanwhile, the fire burning near Santa Fe has grown to at least 1,000 acres.

Smoke can still be seen for miles from the ” Pacheco Fire ” east of Tesuque in the Santa Fe National Forest, with a plume reaching 30,000 feet above Santa Fe.

Forestry officials said the fire is heading north and east towards the Pecos wilderness.

No homes are threatened but hikers and residents in the Santa Fe ski basin, aspen basin, aspen vista, and big Tesuque were told to be ready to leave if necessary.

Smoke and haze is also causing problems in the Las Vegas area.

The cause of the fire is still unknown.

In southwest are of Deming, at least one structure has been destroyed by a grass fire.

The “Hachita Fire” started yesterday afternoon west of Hachita, burning up to 3,000 acres.

Other buildings are threatened but it is not known how many.

Officials know it was human-caused but the details have not been released.

And the Track Fire burning on both sides of the new Mexico-Colorado border outside of Raton is now 80 percent contained and all evacuations have been lifted.

The fire started Sunday, June 12, by engine exhaust from an all-terrain vehicle trespassing on railroad property.

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