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New Mexico: More areas under evacuation orders as McBride Fire expands to over 6,000 acres

The fire, which is burning in Lincoln County, started four days ago and has since burned more than 200 homes, firefighters said in a Saturday update. It remained contained at 0% and the area continues to be at high fire risk through at least Sunday as dry and windy conditions are expected to continue unabated, CNN meteorologist Gene Norman said. .
Two people were killed in the blaze, state police said in a news release earlier this week.

Firefighters battled flames Tuesday at a home in the village of Ruidoso, about 180 miles southeast of Albuquerque, the statement said. That evening, local police learned that an elderly couple trying to evacuate the fire were “untraceable by family members”, according to the statement. Authorities located the remains of two people at the home the next day, state police said.

Other residents of the village told CNN affiliate KFOX that the flames surprised them. Mary Smith’s 83-year-old husband called her after waking up to find their neighborhood was engulfed in fire.

“He said, ‘Honey, everything is burning around us, I have to get out of here,'” Mary Smith told the affiliate. She added that someone from their church called her husband and woke him up, saying that otherwise “my husband would have slept again”.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham visited the village and met with local officials. “There is no doubt that recovery will be a difficult process, but the state will be an active partner with Ruidoso and Lincoln County every step of the way,” the governor said. wrote on Twitter on Friday.

On Saturday, evacuation orders remained for Gavilan Canyon — from Highway 70 to Lower Eagle Creek — and Homestead Acres/Lower Eagle Creek, Rancho Ruidoso Valley Estates, Deer Valley, Deer Park and Alto East of Flute Player, announced authorities.

The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

Several fires worry

The McBride fire isn’t the only one burning parts of the state.

The largest of the blazes, the Hermits Peak Fire, had been burning for 10 days on Saturday and spanned more than 7,300 acres. The blaze, which is burning in parts of San Miguel County, was 46% contained Saturday, with more than 500 people battling the flames, authorities said in an update.
Around noon Saturday, local officials said firefighters struggled with suppression efforts in part of the blaze, and said several nearby communities remained under mandatory evacuations while others had been asked to prepare for possible evacuations.
New Mexico: More areas under evacuation orders as McBride Fire expands to over 6,000 acres

A red flag advisory – indicating an increased fire risk – was in place all night, officials said.

Further south, the Nogal Fire also started earlier this week and was 4% contained, according to an update on Saturday. The fire had prompted evacuation orders for all residents of Nogal Canyon.

The fires have created air quality issues, the state’s top health and environment officials said Friday, urging residents to protect themselves and educate themselves on ways to keep the area safe. air quality, such as by “setting home air conditioning units to ‘recirculate’ during fires,” the state health and environment departments said in a joint news release. .

“There are air quality conditions that can be harmful to the health of at-risk populations and can create unsafe driving conditions in areas directly affected by the fires,” said David R. Scrase, Cabinet Secretary. of the New Mexico Department of Health. statement.

“Exposure to smoke can worsen conditions such as asthma, chronic lung disease or cardiovascular disease,” Scrase added.

CNN’s Chris Boyette and Paradise Afshar contributed to this report.

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