Fire Weather Warnings have been issued across the Southwest as dry conditions are expected to continue, putting the region under a critical risk of wildfires.
This comes after Pres. Joe Biden announced the federal government will cover the total cost of the wildfire response in New Mexico.
Fires have been burning across the Land of Enchantment for months, including what is now the state’s largest fire in history, the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fire, which has burned more than 320,000 acres.
Because of the critical fire conditions across the region, more than 7 million Americans are under a Fire Weather Warning from southern Nevada and Utah, as well as western and central Colorado, and northern Arizona and New Mexico.
NOAA's Storm Prediction Center has highlighted areas of southeastern Nevada, including the Las Vegas area, central and south Utah and northern Arizona, where the risk for wildfires on Sunday is highest.
Even parts of extreme western Colorado and New Mexico are under a critical risk.
However, 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.
Three of the largest wildfires in New Mexico – the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon fire, which is burning outside Las Vegas, the Cerro Pelado fire, which is burning to the west of the Hermits Peak fire, and the Black Fire burning in southwestern New Mexico have charred more than 670,000 acres.
Some rain is possible across the Southwest over the next week, but it won't do much to help firefighting efforts.
If rain does fall, most areas could see less than a half-inch.
The bigger weather story is the record-breaking heat that's been felt across the region for weeks.
Temperatures could be higher than 100 degrees in some areas, and that dangerous heat will begin to expand to the east starting on Sunday.