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The fire burning pine forests about 10 miles (16 kilometers) away from Priscilla Crespin’s home is the largest wildfire in the U.S. and the first to force the 81-year-old to leave the small northeastern New Mexico community where she has spent nearly all her life.


New Mexico, Las Vegas (SN) — The fire burning pine forests about 10 miles (16 kilometers) away from Priscilla Crespin’s home is the largest wildfire in the U.S. and the first to force the 81-year-old to leave the small northeastern New Mexico community where she has spent nearly all her life.

Crespin left her home in Las Vegas, New Mexico in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains on Monday because smoke from the fire wasn’t good for her asthma, her children were growing concerned and other family members who live nearby were making plans to leave.

On Tuesday, wind gusts of up to 50 mph (80 kph) were predicted to fan the blaze, making for extremely dangerous conditions and tough work for firefighters that is expected to last through the weekend.

“We are very concerned about very significant fire growth today,” said David Craft, a National Weather Service fire meteorologist in Albuquerque.

Even though no evacuations were ordered for the town of 13,000 people, the blaze that has charred 228 square miles (590 square kilometers) in New Mexico’s pine-covered mountainsides and burned at least 172 homes has prompted some residents to flee. It also led to the evacuation of the state’s psychiatric hospital.

Fire crews are battling on several fronts to prevent the fire from pushing into more populated areas as its feeds on Ponderosa pine trees in the state’s drought-parched landscape.

The 2022 New Mexico wildfire season is an ongoing series of wildfires burning throughout the U.S. state of New Mexico.

Hundreds of households in the historic New Mexico city of Las Vegas were told to evacuate on Monday as fierce winds and drought pushed the largest active wildfire in the United States closer to town.

The blaze has scorched more than 121,000 acres (49,000 hectares), or more than half the area of New York City, tearing through centuries-old settlements and vacation homes in forested mountains 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Santa Fe.

In late April 2022, severe drought and high winds caused an outbreak of wildfires throughout the state of New Mexico, resulting in widespread evacuations and an emergency declaration.[2] Hundreds of structures have been destroyed.[3]

These fires are part of a larger outbreak throughout the Southwestern United States.

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