NM crews fight wildfires, smoke pours into capital - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

NM crews fight wildfires, smoke pours into capital

Posted: Updated:
A view from Pecos, N.M. of the Thompson Fire in the Jemez on May 31, 2013 in Pecos, N.M. Officials said the fire in New Mexico's Santa Fe National Forest more than doubled in size by Friday night and was still totally uncontained. A view from Pecos, N.M. of the Thompson Fire in the Jemez on May 31, 2013 in Pecos, N.M. Officials said the fire in New Mexico's Santa Fe National Forest more than doubled in size by Friday night and was still totally uncontained.

JEMEZ SPRINGS, N.M. (AP) — Fire crews in New Mexico on Saturday fought two growing wild blazes that have scorched thousands of acres, spurred evacuation calls for dozens of homes and poured smoke into the touristy state capital.

State officials said the uncontained blaze near Santa Fe had spread to 8 square miles, leaving the city under a blanket of haze. The thick smoke also covered the Gallinas Canyon and Las Vegas, N.M.

The fire in New Mexico's Santa Fe National Forest is burning just 25 miles from the city, prompting the Red Cross to set up an emergency shelter at a nearby high school.

Officials asked residents in about 140 summer homes to evacuate as crews battled the flames near the communities of Pecos and Tres Lagunas.

Crews also cleared out campgrounds and closed trailheads in the area as they worked to prevent the fire from moving toward the capital city's watershed and more populated areas.

Meanwhile about 80 miles west, state forestry officials said the Thompson Ridge fire near Jemez Springs had grown to about 1 square mile.

Between 40 and 50 homes in the area were evacuated as around 80 crew members and a helicopter arrived to help fight the blaze.

John Parmenter, director of Scientific Services Division at the nearby Valles Caldera National Preserve, told the Albuquerque Journal that the fire ignited Friday in dense territory that was scheduled for thinning in the next few years because it posed a fire hazard.

"The area that it's in is very steep terrain leading up to the Valles Caldera," he said. "It could burn a lot of forest . There's a lot of fuel in there."

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2017 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.