National News

Jun 17, 2014 2:29 PM by ASSOCIATED PRESS

New Mexico fire rages; dozens of homes threatened


ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) - A fire that has forced residents of two Native American communities on the Arizona-New Mexico border from their homes and is threatening the heart of the Navajo Nation's sheep industry is growing larger.

Fire officials say the Assayii Lake Fire has ballooned to more than 19 square miles. The flames already have destroyed four structures. About 50 homes near the rural communities of Naschitti and Sheep Springs are threatened.

Crews were bracing Tuesday for wind gusts up to 50 mph, along with more high temperatures and low humidity levels.

In California, diminishing winds have helped firefighters surround 75 percent of a blaze burning in the southern Sierra Nevada. Residents were told late Monday they could return to some 1,000 mountain homes.

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