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Dozens of homes destroyed by New Mexico wildfire – Metro US

Dozens of homes destroyed by New Mexico wildfire

Wildfire burns homes, triggers evacuations in New Mexico town
Wildfire burns homes, triggers evacuations in New Mexico town

(Reuters) – A wind-driven wildfire has destroyed dozens of homes in the New Mexico mountain town Ruidoso and continued to burn through residential areas on Wednesday, local officials said.

The fire has burned over 150 structures, most of them houses, as gusting winds and abnormally-dry conditions send flames through forested canyons, local officials said.

“It still has a ways to go to get out of those residential areas,” said Kerry Gladden, a spokeswoman for the resort town of around 8,000 residents. “We’re hoping to get some air attacks up on it before the winds get back up again.”

Like other western states, New Mexico is suffering an early start to its fire season as blazes quickly spread through grassland and forests suffering from severe to extreme drought.

Known as the McBride fire, the Ruidoso blaze is the most destructive in New Mexico in a decade in terms of property losses.

The fire had burned 4,132 acres (1,672 hectares) by Wednesday morning, prompting local evacuations and school closures.

It was among around a dozen wildfires in New Mexico and West Texas.

(Reporting by Andrew Hay in Taos, New Mexico; Editing by Bill Berkrot)

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