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New Mexico residents brace for extreme wildfire conditions

Spring Wildfires
Cedar Attanasio/AP
Wind kicks up dust at the fairgrounds as firefighters meet and confer about the wildfire raging on the other side of the hill behind them just outside of Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Winds and wildfires have waned in the area allowing some residents to return to their homes, but fire officials are concerned about an uptick in winds forecasted for Saturday and Sunday. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — Residents of a northern New Mexico city tried to recapture a sense of normalcy as their rural neighbors hunkered down amid predictions of extreme fire conditions. The threat to Las Vegas, a city of 13,000, was reduced after containment lines were built. Some residents were allowed to return to their homes. But a combination of strong winds, high temperatures and low humidity were forecast by the National Weather Service that could be "exceptionally dangerous" conditions. The largest blaze in the U.S. has left many families homeless and thousands of residents have evacuated rural areas of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.