Dry Southwest braces for stiffer winds; Epic fire danger

Spring Wildfires New Mexico

In this photo released by the U.S. Forest Service, an aircraft known as a “super scooper” battles the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires in the Santa Fe National Forest in New Mexico on Thursday, April 28, 2022. Firefighters have been making significant progress on the biggest wildfires burning unusually hot and fast for this time of year in the western U.S. But forecasters from the Southwest to the southern High Plains are warning of the return the next two days of the same gusty winds and critical fire conditions that sent wildland blazes racing across the landscape last week. (J. Michael Johnson/U.S. Forest Service via AP)

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — Thousands of firefighters have continued to slow the advance of destructive wildfires in the Southwest.

But they’re bracing for the return of the same dangerous conditions Friday that sparked and spread the wind-fueled blazes a week ago.

At least 166 homes have been destroyed in one rural county in northeast New Mexico since the biggest U.S. fire started racing through small towns northeast of Santa Fe last Friday.

Winds gusting up to 50 mph are forecast Friday in the drought-stricken region. Fire behavior experts say it’s a recipe for disaster where timber the size of a 4-by-4 piece of lumber contains fuel moisture drier than kiln-dried wood.

Categories: National News