Record wildfire in New Mexico only 15% contained

June 2, 2012NEW MEXICOThe largest wildfire in New Mexico’s history continued to burn almost uncontrollably Saturday in the remote Gila Wilderness, belching enough smoke to prompt officials to caution that children, adults with heart disease and other sensitive groups should not go outdoors. Since lightning ignited the Whitewater-Baldy Fire Complex wildfire on May 9, flames have devoured 227,000 acres — more than 354 square miles — in the southwest portion of the state. Even though 1,257 personnel have been fighting the conflagration, only 15% of it was contained Saturday, U.S. Forest Service officials said. For purposes of comparison, the burn area of 354 square miles is more than one and a half times bigger than the city of Chicago’s 227 square miles. Two separate strikes of lightning caused the mountainous fire: the Baldy Fire started May 9 in an inaccessible area of the rugged wilderness, and the Whitewater Fire was reported on May 16 several miles west of the Baldy Fire, Forest Service officials said. The two fires in the Gila National Forest combined May 23, enhanced by drought and sustained winds of 40 mph to 50 mph, authorities said. It was the May 16 event that led crews to try to suppress the entirety of the fire but “the extreme fire activity, coupled with incredibly rugged terrain and large boulders falling down the steep canyons forced fire crews to pull out of the area after the first day of fighting the fire,” the Forest Service said. The fire began 15 miles east of Glenwood, New Mexico, and has been fueled by conifers, ponderosa pines, pinons, junipers and grass, Forest Service officials said. Continuing growth potential for the history-making wildfire was “high” Saturday, the Forest Service said. –CNN
This entry was posted in Civilizations unraveling, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Environmental Threat, High-risk potential hazard zone, Wildfires. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Record wildfire in New Mexico only 15% contained

  1. Linda says:

    While the fires are horrible, I always found it interesting how so many of the trees in the West need fire to open their seeds and to propagate. God plans everything to have a good come out of it, it is just man that needs to study and learn what God intended in nature and to react accordingly. Now I pray it rains to slow this fire season and to put this fire out in NM.


  2. Jim Hutton says:

    Why I keep coming back to Extinction Protocol and stopped going elsewhere: stories are always illustrated by a big photo, decent-sized print, and a source link.


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