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Wildfires merge in New Mexico, threatening rural villages

Western Wildfires
Posted at 1:25 PM, Apr 23, 2022

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — Flames from wind-driven wildfires on Saturday were burning tinder-dry forest and grassland and putting numerous small villages in New Mexico in the path of danger.

A fire information officer for two wildfires in rural northern New Mexico said Saturday those blazes had merged while quadrupling in size since Thursday morning.

To the east of Santa Fe, ranchers and other rural residents were abruptly told to leave by law enforcement.

In Arizona, cooler weather with some moisture helped crews battling fires near Flagstaff and south of Prescott but winds remained a concern.

Over a dozen sizable fires were burning in Arizona and New Mexico, destroying dozens of homes and as of Saturday burning more than 174 square miles.