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The largest forest fire in the United States is raging out of control in New Mexico – SABC News

Firefighters in New Mexico were unable to contain the blaze in the largest forest fire in the United States on Friday. which burns dangerously close to a series of mountain villages.

The fire is the most destructive of dozens in the southwestern United States which are more widespread and burn earlier than usual during the year due to climate change, scientists say.

Thousands of people in the Mora Valley, about 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Santa Fe, prepared to evacuate when smoke billowed from a forest around the nearby Ledoux farming community.

A strong wind blew embers over a mile, spreading forest fires that have burned about 75,000 acres (30,351 acres), or 117 square kilometers (303 square kilometers), of the Sangre de Cristo mountains since April 6, destroying hundreds of homes and structures.

“It looks very scary,” said Carl Schwope, the incident’s chief executive, at a news conference. “With the spread rate, it is very difficult for us to achieve fire control.

The wind was expected to blow from the south on Saturday, pushing the fire towards villages such as Mora, as well as the city of Las Vegas, with a population of 14,000, according to the fire department.

“This is coming and it’s here,” said Americ Padilla, a Mora County Sheriff’s Office official, urging residents to leave the towns of Taos and Angel Fire if requested.

More than two decades of severe droughts have turned forested mountains and valleys into tinderboxes, said firefighter Stewart Turner.

“This is much faster than we expected,” Turner said of the fire. “This is a very, very serious fire.
Locals attacked the U.S. Forest Service for deliberately “controlled burning” designed to reduce the risk of fire, which inadvertently ignited part of the fire.

“The U.S. Forest Service needs to be held accountable,” said Skip Finley, a former Mora County sheriff, as he loaded his car to evacuate his home.

The largest forest fire in the United States is raging out of control in New Mexico – SABC News

Source link The largest forest fire in the United States is raging out of control in New Mexico – SABC News

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