Record New Mexico wildfires: how farmers and firefighters are faring
We have an update on the ongoing fires in New Mexico.
The combined Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak Fire has now burned well over 300,000 acres! That makes it the largest in the state’s history. Not too far behind that record is the Black Fire in the southwestern part of the state which has now burned more than 250,000 acres. Both fires are still active at this time.
The latest drought monitor shows New Mexico is not doing well with the majority of it in extreme to exceptional drought.
USDA Meteorologist, Brad Rippey, says some of the lingering impacts include reduced grazing for cattle and an extremely difficult time for firefighters, especially since conditions do not seem to be getting better any time soon.
“That is just an example of some of the very difficult firefighting conditions we’ve been seeing in the tender dry southwest with more wind and dry weather expected for the remainder of June. It could be a very difficult month for these containment efforts for existing fires and also conditions remain unfortunately highly favorable for new fires to be sparked.”
The Calf Canyon Hermits Peak fire is 54 percent contained right now and the Black Fire is 26 percent contained.
The Forestry Service admits to accidentally setting the first one in a controlled burn. A temporary suspension of that practice is in place while they review protocols.