EL RITO, N.M. – A large wildfire that broke out in New Mexico last week continues to grow and has now scorched nearly 4,000 acres in the Land of Enchantment.
At least 225 firefighters are currently working to contain and extinguish the Midnight Fire, which is burning in the northern part of the state.
As of Monday morning, officials say the fire has scorched 3,944 acres and is still 0% contained.
However, firefighters were able to begin construction of a fire line on the eastern and western flanks of the fire with the help of four Super Scoopers and 12 helicopters using fire retardant and water to slow the spread of the flames.
Critical fire weather conditions exist in the Southwest, and Fire Weather Alerts are in effect for nearly 4 million Americans.
Dry thunderstorms also pose a threat across New Mexico, adding to concerns of new wildfires igniting.
Cloud-to-ground lightning can strike the surface and spark a wildfire, especially if the vegetation is dry. Gusty winds associated with the thunderstorm can then fan the flames and cause the fire to quickly grow out of control.
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