Fast-moving New Mexico blaze causes evacuations

By: ap
By: ap

PECOS, N.M. (AP) -- A fast-moving fire in New Mexico's Santa Fe National Forest is prompting evacuations of homes and campgrounds, threatening cabins, and closing a state highway.

Officials have asked residents in 140 homes -- mostly used for the summer -- to leave as crews battle the 3.1-square-mile blaze near the communities of Pecos and Tres Lagunas, about 25 miles east of Santa Fe.

They also have evacuated campgrounds and closed trailheads around Pecos, Las Vegas and Santa Fe as they work on containment lines in hopes of preventing the fire from moving toward the capital city's watershed and the Tres Lagunas community.

Officials say the fire doubled in size by Friday afternoon and is still totally uncontained. That's prompted New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez to declare a state of emergency in San Miguel County to free up state funds to fight the fire.

Officials say a downed power line ignited the blaze Thursday. It's the first major wildfire this year in New Mexico, which is in its driest two-year period in nearly 120 years of record keeping.


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