LAS VEGAS, N.M. - Crews are continuing to work on containing and extinguishing New Mexico’s second-largest wildfire as it continues to burn outside of Las Vegas, New Mexico.
The Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak Fire has burned nearly 190,000 acres as of Monday morning, but firefighters have been able to make progress in containment.
On Sunday, the fire was only 21% contained, but that was raised to 43% Monday.
At least 172 homes have been burned because of the fire, and thousands of other residents remain under evacuation orders while the flames still rage.
- Image 1 of 5
- Image 2 of 5
- Image 3 of 5
- Image 4 of 5
- Image 5 of 5
More than 1,700 firefighters are currently working to put the fire out, but extremely critical fire weather across the Southwest and Plains have made their work difficult.
In fact, winds were so strong over the weekend that helicopters and aircraft that had been dumping water and fire retardant on the blaze were grounded.
Helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft are critical to wildland firefighting efforts, the U.S. Forest Service – Santa Fe National Forest said in a Facebook post.
Fire conditions are expected to remain critical over the next several days as strong winds and low relative humidity levels will continue.
President Joe Biden approved a major disaster declaration for New Mexico last week, which will provide federal funding to residents affected by the fires in Colfax, Lincoln, Mora, San Miguel and Valencia counties. These funds can include grants for housing, home repairs and other property damages.
Those affected by the fires can register for federal assistance at DisasterAssistance.gov or call 1-800-621-3362.