Multiple wildfires are threatening New Mexico.


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SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has signed emergency declarations as 20 wildfires continued to burn Sunday in nearly half of the state’s drought-stricken 33 counties.

A wildfire that began in northern New Mexico on April 6 was merged with another fire Saturday, causing widespread evacuations in Mora County and San Miguel counties. Sunday’s fire was at 84 sq miles (217 km) and was 12% contained.

A wind-driven wildfire that raged in northern New Mexico had already started on April 17. It had charred 81 miles (209 km) of oak brush, ponderosa pine and grass north of Ocate. This is an unincorporated community in Mora County.

Some residents in Arizona were evacuated by a wildfire, but they were allowed to return to their homes on Sunday.

Authorities in Nebraska claim that wind-driven wildfires caused by wind swept through the state killed a former chief of fire services and left at least 11 firefighters injured.

New Mexico saw its temperatures and winds decrease on Saturday, but it was still warm enough to light fires. Numerous evacuation orders remain in force.

Officials at fire departments expect the northern wildfires will slow down Sunday as more cloud and smoke cover moves into, which allows the forests to retain greater moisture. However, they warned that fires in the interior could exhibit extreme to moderate behavior and could pose a threat to structures.

Lujan.Grisham reported that 200 structures have been destroyed by wildfires and that another 900 are still at risk.

Fire management officials said an exact damage count was unclear because it’s still too dangerous for crews to go in and look at all the homes that have been lost.

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