A potentially historic wildfire has burned more than 176,000 acres in New Mexico.
The Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires, located just north of Las Vegas, New Mexico, merged into one giant blaze. It’s currently the largest fire burning in the Southwest and the second-largest fire in the state’s history.
As of Sunday evening, there was more than 1,500 personnel working the fire with containment levels hovering around 43%.
"I’ve never seen anything like this. And the people that I work with, who’ve been doing this for 30 years, have never seen anything like what’s been predicted for the week ahead," Andy Lyon with the Southwest Incident Management team says.
Record heat, strong winds up to 60mph and low humidity continue to create extreme fire conditions, making it challenging for firefighters to contain it.
Fire officials say 172 homes have burned, and thousands of people remain evacuated.
Those evacuation and road closures remain in place as crews work around the clock to secure lines that can withstand strong winds.