Forest Wildfire Becomes Largest in New Mexico History


A massive wildfire in southwestern New Mexico’s Gila National Forest is now the largest fire in state history.

credit: NASA Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Rapid Response Team

Fire officials said Wednesday the erratic fire has grown to more than 170,000 acres, surpassing a blaze last year that burned 156,593 acres in New Mexico and threatened the nation’s premier nuclear facility.

The Gila forest fire is also the largest currently burning in the country.

Fire information officer Jerry Perry says about 1,200 firefighters from around the state were in the isolated region to battle the growing blaze. He says they face low humidity and shifting winds in their firefighting efforts.

Perry says parts of southern New Mexico could expect to see smoke from the fire, which has destroyed a dozen homes.

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