- A huge wildfire classified as the largest in the US blazes in New Mexico.
- Authorities issued a series of warnings for residents to evacuate areas that may be affected.
- Another wildfire burned several homes in northern California.
America’s largest wildfire was spreading toward mountain resort towns in northern New Mexico prompting authorities to issue another series of warnings for more people to evacuate, according to The Associated Press.
“Day 36,” fire spokesman Bill Morse said at a briefing Wednesday night. “Ever since April 6, this fire has grown day by day by day,” he said. “Another hot, dry, windy day. No surprises there,” fire incident meteorologist Makoto Moore said at Wednesday night’s briefing in Las Vegas.
California fire destroys dozens of houses
Meanwhile, a wildfire that broke out Wednesday afternoon off the coast of Southern California tore through the coastal multimillion-dollar mansions and burned at least 20 homes, fire officials said. The flames were fanned by gusty ocean winds but were extinguished by Wednesday night. No injuries were reported, but several streets were ordered to be evacuated.
The fire, which occurred in Laguna Niguel, was relatively small, about 200 acres (81 hectares), but the wind carried embers to palm trees, attics and dense, dry brush on slopes and steep canyons that had not burned in decades, Brian Fennessy, chief of the Orange County Fire Authority, said at an afternoon news conference.
Where the fire is headed
Fennessy said climate change has turned even small fires that would once have been easily contained into extreme threats to life and property across the West.
As night fell, New Mexico firefighters said the fastest-moving flames along the eastern front of the Sangre de Cristo at the southern end of the Rocky Mountains were heading farther northeast, away from the largest population center in the area in Taos, a popular tourist resort 40 miles (64 kilometers) away from the south of the Colorado. Filed Under: Laguna Niguel fire.
Good forecast for the weekend
“There are currently no issues in the Taos area,” Fire Operations Chief Todd Abel said. “The fire wants to move a little bit to the north and east. But we are still going to pay close attention,” he added. Some aircraft were able to fly to drop retardant on the fire despite wind gusts in some areas of more than 45 mph (72 kph). Some evacuation orders were relaxed along the southern flank of the fire near Las Vegas, New Mexico, more than 50 miles (80 km) from the south of the flames on the northern perimeter.
Additional crews have been ordered to join the more than 1,800 staff members battling the fire, and forecasters said conditions should be more favorable by the weekend if crews can deal with another red flag warning until Thursday night. Filed Under: Laguna Niguel fire.
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