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As weather changes, New Mexico fires near 50% containment


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The largest active wildfire in the United States is close to 50% containment, according to New Mexico fire authorities.

More than 3,000 people are working to battle the 312,057-acre blaze that has been burning for seven weeks.

Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak firefighting effort aided by cooler weather and rain for the past few days.

The US Forest Service warned critical fire weather would return on Friday and continue through the weekend.

NEW MEXICO FIRE SLOWED DUE TO RAIN AND SNOW IN MOUNTAINS

He said residents of San Miguel, Mora, Taos, Colfax and Santa Fe counties should remain on high alert for changes in evacuation statuses and road closures.

The agency said it expected higher temperatures, gusty winds and continued dry air.

A helicopter launches on its way to deliver supplies to hotshot crews on Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak Fires in New Mexico.
(Credit: US Forest Service)

The National Interagency Fire Center’s predictive services noted Thursday that moderate to severe areas Drought worsened from severe to exceptional in the southwest.

“Drought impacts are worsening and directly contributing to increased fire danger values. Conditions like this have not been seen since the mid-1950s,” its advisory noted.

NOAA HURRICANE SEASON FORECAST ABOVE AVERAGE

The National Weather Service has released fire time watches for the region on Saturday.

The Forest Service also noted that some residents of evacuated communities are repopulating — some using recreational drones near fires.

“If you fly, we can’t – If drones are launched into the temporary flight restriction zone, all firefighting aircraft will be grounded immediately,” they explained.

The most recent incidents took place earlier this month on the Cerro Pelado fire.

There are more than 6,100 wildland firefighters and fire support personnel across the United States

Wildfires in the West have become a year-round threat.

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Scientists and fire experts say they are moving faster and burning more than ever due to climate change.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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