Two Dead in New Mexico Wildfires, 500 Homes Destroyed

Two Dead in New Mexico Wildfires, 500 Homes Destroyed

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – Two people have died in wildfires in southern New Mexico that have burned around 500 homes and triggered the evacuation of about 8,000 residents from the mountain resort community of Ruidoso in the US.

The unidentified skeletal remains of a person were found in the driver’s seat of a burnt car, New Mexico State Police reported on June 19. Another victim was identified as 60-year-old Patrick Pearson, Reuters reported.

New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham told reporters around 500 homes were thought to be among the more than 1,400 buildings razed by the two blazes, making them among the most destructive wildfires in state history.

The forest area around 220km south-east of Albuquerque, New Mexico’s largest city, has suffered a string of wildfires, including one that killed two people in 2022.

Ms. Lujan Grisham on June 19 requested a major disaster declaration from US President Joe Biden for the South Fork and Salt fires, which have burned over 9,308ha to the north and south of Ruidoso.

New Mexico is caught in a decades-long drought that has made wildfires more destructive and faster moving. In 2022, the state suffered the largest blaze in the continental US that burned over 138,000ha.

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