An early-season blaze has turned into New Mexico’s second-largest on record, torching more than 165,000 acres. And the Calf Canyon fire, the biggest burning in the United States, is one of six wildfires in New Mexico right now, a worrying start to what’s expected to be an unusually intense wildfire season in the West.
President Joe Biden declared a “major disaster” for the state on Wednesday, offering federal resources to help with recovery efforts. East of Santa Fe, the Calf Canyon fire has burned hundreds of buildings and prompted the evacuation of 6,000 homes. Evacuees left behind goats, rabbits, and dogs, while those who took pets with them struggled to find places to stay.
It’s been an abnormally fiery spring in the United States, with fires burning across Florida, Texas, and Colorado in March. As of early May, wildfires had already torched 1.1 million acres in the U.S., double that of the same time last year.
The fires in New Mexico are being fueled by wicked winds as well as searing drought and warmer than average temperatures exacerbated by climate change. A megadrought is currently plaguing the Southwest, a region that is experiencing its ... Read more