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New Mexico News

Wind, drought combine to make western US fires unstoppable

Wind, drought combine to make western US fires unstoppable

Wind, drought combine to make western US fires unstoppable

By SUSAN MONTOYA BRYAN Associated Press

Firefighting managers in northern New Mexico say the flames of the largest wildfire burning in the U.S. have become unstoppable as they advance and burn trees sucked dry of moisture over decades of drought. Thursday marks another day of strong winds in the Rocky Mountain foothills where the fire is burning through Ponderosa pine forests and threatening numerous small communities. The fire has blackened more than 405 square miles since it started last month. In Southern California, a wildfire Wednesday in the coastal community of Laguna Niguel burned more than 20 homes, many of them multimillion-dollar mansions. In the Midwest, a red flag warning was issued for increased wildfire danger.