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Unprecedented gusts expected to fan wildfires in New Mexico

US Spring Wildfires
Posted at 1:38 PM, May 07, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-07 16:38:53-04

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides.

The blaze already has left many families homeless and thousands of residents have evacuated rural areas of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains.

Forecasters warn that gusts over the weekend could top 50 to 60 mph. Firefighters in preparation have spent days building fire lines and aircraft have dropped fire retardant in strategic spots in an effort to keep flames from reaching the small northeastern city of Las Vegas and villages on the fire's other fronts.