A large fire in the western U.S. state of New Mexico continued to advance and destroyed thousands of kilometers of vegetation, while a prolonged drought in the region worsened the situation this week.
Named “Hermits Peak”, the fire has already destroyed more than 600 km2 in the south of the state and destroyed about 170 buildings. Nearly 16,000 homes have been evacuated since the April 6 fire.
“It simply came to our notice then. This is an important moment in the fire, “said Michel Lujan Grisham, governor of New Mexico.
The governor added that weather conditions with high temperatures and extreme winds were “badly possible”, with only 20% under control.
The controlled fire, which was deliberately created to destroy excess vegetation in limited areas, started as the recommended fire a month ago. But officials said they lost control due to strong winds and severe drought.
The fire season has begun in the western United States. But “Herms Peak” is already the second largest in New Mexico’s history, burning more than 1,000 square kilometers of vegetation this year, close to the region’s average for a whole year.
US President Joe Biden has declared a state of natural disaster in New Mexico, which will facilitate access to logistics and funding to help fight fires and help affected people.
Seven fires have spread across the state, affected by the historic drought, which has made vast areas in the region vulnerable to drought and fire for many years, favoring the spread of fires.
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