Wind-driven fire forces evacuations in Northern New Mexico

The combination of dry brush and windy conditions are causing the fire to rapidly spread

SAN MIGUEL COUNTY, N.M. – Wind gusts of more than 60 mph are driving flames from the Calf Canyon Fire towards neighborhoods causing evacuations of dozens in Northern New Mexico of homes on Friday.

At last check, the fire was reported to have consumed more than 3,000 acres and was zero percent contained.

The San Miguel County Sheriff's Department advised residents in Penasco Blanco, South Carmen, Ledoux, Upper Murphy, Santiago Creek, Abuelo, Puertoctio, Rito, Cebolla Buena Vista and surrounding neighborhoods to evacuate because of their proximity to the flames.


Authorities opened at least two nearby shelters for evacuees.

The U.S. Forest Service said more than 120 firefighters are being used to try to contain the blaze, which is burning about an hour outside of Sante Fe.

The high winds are impacting the response by grounding the use of aircraft.

Investigators are still trying to determine what caused the initial sparks that led to the fire.

A fire burning not far away in Ocate, New Mexico is being called the Cooks Peak Fire.

At last check, the fire has destroyed around 30,000 acres and is burning out of control.

Authorities said several communities in Mora and Colfax counties have been ordered to evacuate because of the fast moving flames.

The fire threat level is expected to remain elevated for parts of the Southwest and the Plains into the Summer.