Strong winds cause wildfires in the American Southwest
Smoke rises from the Tunnel Fire, north of Flagstaff, Arizona. (Photo: AP)
Forest fires has now broken out throughout the arid Southwestern United States.
According to local authorities, more than 10 small communities were evacuated when two wildfires combined in the mountains 30 miles (nearly 50 kilometers) northeast of Santa Fe due to gusts of more than 60 miles per day. h (97 km/h).
“It’s heartbreaking, it’s appalling. It’s a very serious, very grim situation,” said Joy Ansley, a spokeswoman for the county of San Miguel, where the fire is burning.
Two wildfires called Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak have combined in an area about 12 km northwest of Las Vegas, New Mexico, according to the wildfire monitoring website Inciweb.
These fires are among more than 10 wildfires burning across the American Southwest drought decades long combined with dry vegetation, raising fears the region will experience an extreme bushfire year.
Rising temperatures have reduced winter snow cover and allowed larger and more intense fires to flare up earlier this year, according to biologists. According to climate scientists, prolonged droughts are increasing due to human-caused climate change.
“New Mexico has a lot of fires right now, and so is Arizona,” said Laura Rabon, a spokeswoman for Lincoln National Forest in southern New Mexico, where two people died in wildfires last week. And that’s unusual at the start of the season.”
About 35 miles (56 km) east of Taos, New Mexico, the Cooks Peak wildfire broke out on a massive scale. Firefighters in Arizona work to put out a blaze in the Tunnel Fire near Flagstaff, which has destroyed dozens of homes.
Pictures of wildfires in the American Southwest. (Photo: AP)
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