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Southwest fires force more evacuations


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On Friday, firefighters continued to battle destructive wildfires across the southwestern United States.

In New Mexico, authorities issued more evacuation orders, warning high winds were pushing the Calf Canyon Fire into new areas.

The US Forest Service said on Saturday that the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon fires – which merged last weekend – now have a combined area of ​​97,064 acres.

The flames are 32% contained, with more than a thousand personnel on site.

DANGEROUS FIRE WEATHER AROUND US THREATENS EFFORTS TO CONTAIN FIRES

The gusty conditions prevented any air attack by mid-morning Friday, although there were no immediate reports of further structures being lost.

At least 166 homes were destroyed in San Miguel County.

As of Friday, more than 2,000 firefighters were battling blazes in both the Land of Enchantment and Arizona.

The Copper State Forest Service announced that fire and smoking restrictions will be in effect for the Coconino National Forest on May 5 and that the city government of Flagstaff will enter fire restrictions at the same time. stage 1 fire.

The tunnel fire, north of Flagstaff, was 89 percent contained Friday and spanned 19,075 acres.

A high-level national management team returned it to the local forest on Friday.

However, the fire had already destroyed at least 30 homes and forced hundreds more to evacuate.

MILLIONS NEEDED TO REDUCE WATER USE IN DROUGHT CALIFORNIA

Some residents near another fire 10 miles south of Prescott were not allowed to return home.

The Crooks Fire is 38% contained and covers 9,393 acres.

Lighter winds were expected over the weekend there, but low humidity will be a concern, fire officials said.

Red flag warnings were in place Friday for nearly all of New Mexico and parts of Colorado, Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas.

The fires are unusually hot and fast-moving for this time of year.

According to a recent outlook issued by the NIFC.

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Over a million acres have been burning across the country since January 1.

Wildfires have become a year-round threat in the West. Scientists said the problems have been exacerbated by decades of fire suppression and poor management, as well as a more than 20-year-old mega-drought that studies link to human causes. climate change.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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