Strong, swirling winds complicate New Mexico wildfire fight

A sunset seen through a wall of wildfire smoke from the Amtrak train station in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. The Castañeda Hotel, right, hosted meals for residents and firefighters this week with sponsorships from restaurants and other businesses. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

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A sunset seen through a wall of wildfire smoke from the Amtrak train station in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. The Castañeda Hotel, right, hosted meals for residents and firefighters this week with sponsorships from restaurants and other businesses. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Fast winds are complicating the fight against fires burning across northeast New Mexico

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — Strong, fast winds complicated work for firefighters in northeast New Mexico on Sunday as they battled two major blazes, though the rural area's major population center appeared to finally be safe from the worst danger.

“It’s been a challenging day. The winds have picked up; they haven’t let up,” fire spokesperson Todd Abel said Sunday evening.

The rural area’s largest town — Las Vegas, New Mexico, population 13,000 — sits on the eastern edge of the fire area and appeared safe for now thanks to fire lines dug with bulldozers and other preparations over the past week. But the northern and southern edges of the blaze were still proving tricky for firefighters to contain, particularly given winds as fast as 50 miles per hour (80 kilometers per hour), Abel said.

The fire's perimeter stretched more than 60 miles (96 kilometers) from Las Vegas, New Mexico, on the southeast flank to near Holbrook about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of the Colorado line. The National Interagency Fire Center said early Sunday that more than 20,000 structures remained threatened by the fire, which has destroyed about 300 residences over the last two weeks. The fire center said full containment wasn’t anticipated until the end of July.

The ferocious winds were expected to continue with little break Sunday night and at least into Monday. Strong, gusty winds are in many ways firefighters’ worst nightmare, especially in conditions so hot and dry as the crews in the Southwest have been battling since early April.

In addition to fanning and spreading the flames, such winds ground airtankers and light planes that can drop water directly on the fire or lay down retardant ahead of its path to allow bulldozers and ground crews to dig firebreaks in places where there’s no highways or roads that can help stop the progression of the flames.

In extreme conditions, like the ones in New Mexico, even the helicopters that typically can get up in the air — at least during the early morning hours before winds start to pick up in the afternoon — are grounded. That means they're unable to gather intelligence about the overnight developments critical to making new attack plans or placing new orders for firefighters, engines and more aircraft from across the region where demand grows exponentially as summer nears and the more traditional fire season begins.

Aircraft were able to fly early Sunday but were grounded by early afternoon, Abel said.

“It’s not good, obviously; it takes away a tool in our toolbox, but we’re not stopping,” said fire spokesperson Ryan Berlin.

Firefighters prepared to protect homes if needed in several other rural communities along the state highway that connects Las Vegas to Taos, a small community popular for outdoor recreation activities like skiing. Officials repeatedly urged people to evacuate if they have been told to do so.

“It’s a dogfight out there folks,” fire spokesperson Bill Morse said Sunday evening.

As of early Sunday, the biggest blaze northeast of Santa Fe had grown to an area more than twice the size of Philadelphia. Thousands of residents have been forced to flee their homes.

For now, the city of Las Vegas appears to be safe, said Berlin. Some residents of the area were able to return to their homes on Saturday, and some shops and restaurants had reopened.

“We even started to repopulate a section of town already," he said. “Our concern right now is on the southwest portion of the fire which the wind is helping us out, sort of, because it’s blowing the flames back into the fire."

But Wendy Mason with the New Mexico Forestry Division warned that “by no means” is anyone “out of potential danger.”

“Just because the winds are coming from one direction doesn’t mean they can’t change direction so it’s better to be prepared and have residents ready to go,” she said.

Nationwide, close to 2,000 square miles (5,180 square kilometers) have burned so far this year, with 2018 being the last time this much fire had been reported at this point, according to the National Interagency Fire Center. And predictions for the rest of the spring do not bode well for the West, where long-term drought and warmer temperatures brought on by climate change have combined to worsen the threat of wildfire.

___

Sonner reported from Reno, Nevada. Associated Press reporter Kathleen Ronayne contributed from Sacramento, California.

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Smoke from the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire drifts over Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Robert Browman/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Credit: Robert Browman

Smoke from the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire drifts over Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Robert Browman/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Credit: Robert Browman

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Smoke from the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire drifts over Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Robert Browman/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Credit: Robert Browman

Credit: Robert Browman

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Wildland firefighters from several agencies throughout the country wait along state road 283 to be sent into the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires burning just west of Las Vegas, N.M. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Credit: Roberto E. Rosales

Wildland firefighters from several agencies throughout the country wait along state road 283 to be sent into the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires burning just west of Las Vegas, N.M. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Credit: Roberto E. Rosales

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Wildland firefighters from several agencies throughout the country wait along state road 283 to be sent into the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires burning just west of Las Vegas, N.M. (Roberto E. Rosales/Albuquerque Journal)

Credit: Roberto E. Rosales

Credit: Roberto E. Rosales

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A new plume of smoke is rising from the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires burning just west of Las Vegas, N.M., Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Roberto E. Rosales/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Credit: Roberto E. Rosales

A new plume of smoke is rising from the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires burning just west of Las Vegas, N.M., Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Roberto E. Rosales/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Credit: Roberto E. Rosales

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A new plume of smoke is rising from the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires burning just west of Las Vegas, N.M., Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Roberto E. Rosales/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Credit: Roberto E. Rosales

Credit: Roberto E. Rosales

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Twisted metal roofing and ashes remain of the Pendaries Village & Golf Resort restaurant and clubhouse in the evacuation area near Mora, N.M., on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, where firefighters have been battling the Hermit's Peak and Calf Canyon fire for weeks. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7, and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

Twisted metal roofing and ashes remain of the Pendaries Village & Golf Resort restaurant and clubhouse in the evacuation area near Mora, N.M., on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, where firefighters have been battling the Hermit's Peak and Calf Canyon fire for weeks. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7, and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

caption arrowCaption
Twisted metal roofing and ashes remain of the Pendaries Village & Golf Resort restaurant and clubhouse in the evacuation area near Mora, N.M., on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, where firefighters have been battling the Hermit's Peak and Calf Canyon fire for weeks. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7, and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

Credit: Jim Weber

caption arrowCaption
Twisted metal roofing and ashes remain of the Pendaries Village & Golf Resort restaurant and clubhouse in the evacuation area near Mora, N.M., Wednesday, May 4, 2022, where firefighters have been battling the Hermit's Peak and Calf Canyon fire for weeks. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7, and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

Twisted metal roofing and ashes remain of the Pendaries Village & Golf Resort restaurant and clubhouse in the evacuation area near Mora, N.M., Wednesday, May 4, 2022, where firefighters have been battling the Hermit's Peak and Calf Canyon fire for weeks. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7, and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

caption arrowCaption
Twisted metal roofing and ashes remain of the Pendaries Village & Golf Resort restaurant and clubhouse in the evacuation area near Mora, N.M., Wednesday, May 4, 2022, where firefighters have been battling the Hermit's Peak and Calf Canyon fire for weeks. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7, and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

Credit: Jim Weber

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Gabriella Duran helps at the Mora Head Start building sort through food donated to families choosing to remain in Mora, N.M., on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7, and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

Gabriella Duran helps at the Mora Head Start building sort through food donated to families choosing to remain in Mora, N.M., on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7, and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

caption arrowCaption
Gabriella Duran helps at the Mora Head Start building sort through food donated to families choosing to remain in Mora, N.M., on Wednesday, May 4, 2022. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7, and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

Credit: Jim Weber

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Burned underbrush can be seen across the road from United World College of the American West, a boarding school evacuated due to wildfires as seen outside Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. School officials were able to visit the grounds earlier this week after winds and fires waned. Students at the boarding school, most of whom are from overseas, have been moved to a summer camp outside Santa Fe, N.M. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

Burned underbrush can be seen across the road from United World College of the American West, a boarding school evacuated due to wildfires as seen outside Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. School officials were able to visit the grounds earlier this week after winds and fires waned. Students at the boarding school, most of whom are from overseas, have been moved to a summer camp outside Santa Fe, N.M. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

caption arrowCaption
Burned underbrush can be seen across the road from United World College of the American West, a boarding school evacuated due to wildfires as seen outside Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. School officials were able to visit the grounds earlier this week after winds and fires waned. Students at the boarding school, most of whom are from overseas, have been moved to a summer camp outside Santa Fe, N.M. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

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Blackened tombstones and statues stand at the Rociada Cemetery after fire tore through the area in the evacuation area near Mora, N.M., on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, where firefighters have been battling the Hermit's Peak and Calf Canyon fire for weeks. Many residents have resisted the evacuation orders opting to stay and protect their homes to face nature's fury. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7 and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

Blackened tombstones and statues stand at the Rociada Cemetery after fire tore through the area in the evacuation area near Mora, N.M., on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, where firefighters have been battling the Hermit's Peak and Calf Canyon fire for weeks. Many residents have resisted the evacuation orders opting to stay and protect their homes to face nature's fury. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7 and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

caption arrowCaption
Blackened tombstones and statues stand at the Rociada Cemetery after fire tore through the area in the evacuation area near Mora, N.M., on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, where firefighters have been battling the Hermit's Peak and Calf Canyon fire for weeks. Many residents have resisted the evacuation orders opting to stay and protect their homes to face nature's fury. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7 and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

Credit: Jim Weber

caption arrowCaption
Johnny Trujillo, 53, talks about battling the blaze that destroyed both his sister's home and his truck in the evacuation area near Mora, N.M., on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, where firefighters have been battling the Hermit's Peak and Calf Canyon fire for weeks. Many residents have resisted the evacuation orders opting to stay and protect their homes to face nature's fury. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7 and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

Johnny Trujillo, 53, talks about battling the blaze that destroyed both his sister's home and his truck in the evacuation area near Mora, N.M., on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, where firefighters have been battling the Hermit's Peak and Calf Canyon fire for weeks. Many residents have resisted the evacuation orders opting to stay and protect their homes to face nature's fury. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7 and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

caption arrowCaption
Johnny Trujillo, 53, talks about battling the blaze that destroyed both his sister's home and his truck in the evacuation area near Mora, N.M., on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, where firefighters have been battling the Hermit's Peak and Calf Canyon fire for weeks. Many residents have resisted the evacuation orders opting to stay and protect their homes to face nature's fury. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7 and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

Credit: Jim Weber

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A flare up near Cleveland, just down 519 from Mora, N.M. darkens the sky on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, where firefighters have been battling the Hermit's Peak and Calf Canyon fire for weeks. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7, and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

A flare up near Cleveland, just down 519 from Mora, N.M. darkens the sky on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, where firefighters have been battling the Hermit's Peak and Calf Canyon fire for weeks. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7, and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

caption arrowCaption
A flare up near Cleveland, just down 519 from Mora, N.M. darkens the sky on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, where firefighters have been battling the Hermit's Peak and Calf Canyon fire for weeks. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7, and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

Credit: Jim Weber

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Firehoses lay on the ground in the evacuation area near Mora, N.M., on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, where firefighters have been battling the Hermit's Peak and Calf Canyon fire for weeks. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7, and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

Firehoses lay on the ground in the evacuation area near Mora, N.M., on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, where firefighters have been battling the Hermit's Peak and Calf Canyon fire for weeks. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7, and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

caption arrowCaption
Firehoses lay on the ground in the evacuation area near Mora, N.M., on Wednesday, May 4, 2022, where firefighters have been battling the Hermit's Peak and Calf Canyon fire for weeks. Weather conditions described as potentially historic are on tap for New Mexico on Saturday, May 7, and over the next several days as the largest fire burning in the U.S. chews through more tinder-dry mountainsides. (Jim Weber/Santa Fe New Mexican via AP)

Credit: Jim Weber

Credit: Jim Weber

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Wildfire evacuee Domingo Martinez gets a haircut from Jessica Aragón outside an emergency shelter in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Martinez left his home in a wooded rural area northwest of Las Vegas and stayed in a safer neighborhood with his son. The people lined up behind him are meeting with federal officials for help with assistance claims. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

Wildfire evacuee Domingo Martinez gets a haircut from Jessica Aragón outside an emergency shelter in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Martinez left his home in a wooded rural area northwest of Las Vegas and stayed in a safer neighborhood with his son. The people lined up behind him are meeting with federal officials for help with assistance claims. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

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Wildfire evacuee Domingo Martinez gets a haircut from Jessica Aragón outside an emergency shelter in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Martinez left his home in a wooded rural area northwest of Las Vegas and stayed in a safer neighborhood with his son. The people lined up behind him are meeting with federal officials for help with assistance claims. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

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Wildfire evacuees Paul T. Vigil, center left, and Domingo Martinez, both of Manuelitas, N.M., greet each other at a shelter and supply depot at a middle school in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Vigil has slept at the shelter for the past 15 days and helped volunteers loading and unloading supplies. Martinez is staying with his son and came to the shelter for a haircut. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

Wildfire evacuees Paul T. Vigil, center left, and Domingo Martinez, both of Manuelitas, N.M., greet each other at a shelter and supply depot at a middle school in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Vigil has slept at the shelter for the past 15 days and helped volunteers loading and unloading supplies. Martinez is staying with his son and came to the shelter for a haircut. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

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Wildfire evacuees Paul T. Vigil, center left, and Domingo Martinez, both of Manuelitas, N.M., greet each other at a shelter and supply depot at a middle school in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Vigil has slept at the shelter for the past 15 days and helped volunteers loading and unloading supplies. Martinez is staying with his son and came to the shelter for a haircut. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

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Liz Birmingham, 66, trains her dog Ciel at a class outside the Carnegie Library in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. She said living in the city unnerving, as smoke and fire fluctuate with the winds, and some neighborhoods have been under evacuation advisories. The blue sky on the left is typical of New Mexico, while the haze on the right is from smoke from wildfires that have raged for over two weeks. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

Liz Birmingham, 66, trains her dog Ciel at a class outside the Carnegie Library in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. She said living in the city unnerving, as smoke and fire fluctuate with the winds, and some neighborhoods have been under evacuation advisories. The blue sky on the left is typical of New Mexico, while the haze on the right is from smoke from wildfires that have raged for over two weeks. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

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Liz Birmingham, 66, trains her dog Ciel at a class outside the Carnegie Library in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. She said living in the city unnerving, as smoke and fire fluctuate with the winds, and some neighborhoods have been under evacuation advisories. The blue sky on the left is typical of New Mexico, while the haze on the right is from smoke from wildfires that have raged for over two weeks. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

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The Calf Canyon/Hermit Peak Fire burns south of Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Robert Browman/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Credit: Robert Browman

The Calf Canyon/Hermit Peak Fire burns south of Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Robert Browman/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Credit: Robert Browman

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The Calf Canyon/Hermit Peak Fire burns south of Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Robert Browman/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Credit: Robert Browman

Credit: Robert Browman

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The Calf Canyon/Hermit Peak Fire burns south of Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Robert Browman/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Credit: Robert Browman

The Calf Canyon/Hermit Peak Fire burns south of Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Robert Browman/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Credit: Robert Browman

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The Calf Canyon/Hermit Peak Fire burns south of Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Robert Browman/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Credit: Robert Browman

Credit: Robert Browman

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The Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire burns in the hills outside of Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Robert Browman/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Credit: Robert Browman

The Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire burns in the hills outside of Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Robert Browman/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Credit: Robert Browman

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The Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire burns in the hills outside of Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Robert Browman/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Credit: Robert Browman

Credit: Robert Browman

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Smoke from the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire drifts over Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Robert Browman/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Credit: Uncredited

Smoke from the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire drifts over Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Robert Browman/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Credit: Uncredited

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Smoke from the Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak Fire drifts over Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. (Robert Browman/The Albuquerque Journal via AP)

Credit: Uncredited

Credit: Uncredited

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Reddened by wildfire smoke, the sun is seen reflected off windows at the train station in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Area residents have been on and off of evacuation orders of the past month as fires grow and move with intense and unpredictable winds. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

Reddened by wildfire smoke, the sun is seen reflected off windows at the train station in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Area residents have been on and off of evacuation orders of the past month as fires grow and move with intense and unpredictable winds. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

caption arrowCaption
Reddened by wildfire smoke, the sun is seen reflected off windows at the train station in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Area residents have been on and off of evacuation orders of the past month as fires grow and move with intense and unpredictable winds. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

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Wildland firefighters from various cities in California leave the The Castañeda Hotel after eating a hot meal in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. The hotel is offering meals for displaced residents and firefighters. For many, it's the first meal they've hot meal had in days, or the first with silverware and a table. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

Wildland firefighters from various cities in California leave the The Castañeda Hotel after eating a hot meal in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. The hotel is offering meals for displaced residents and firefighters. For many, it's the first meal they've hot meal had in days, or the first with silverware and a table. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

caption arrowCaption
Wildland firefighters from various cities in California leave the The Castañeda Hotel after eating a hot meal in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. The hotel is offering meals for displaced residents and firefighters. For many, it's the first meal they've hot meal had in days, or the first with silverware and a table. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

caption arrowCaption
A sunset is seen through plumes wildfire smoke in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Area residents have been on and off of evacuation orders of the past month as fires grow and move with intense and unpredictable winds. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

A sunset is seen through plumes wildfire smoke in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Area residents have been on and off of evacuation orders of the past month as fires grow and move with intense and unpredictable winds. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

caption arrowCaption
A sunset is seen through plumes wildfire smoke in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Area residents have been on and off of evacuation orders of the past month as fires grow and move with intense and unpredictable winds. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

caption arrowCaption
Reddened by wildfire smoke, the sun is seen reflected off windows at the train station in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Area residents have been on and off of evacuation orders of the past month as fires grow and move with intense and unpredictable winds. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

Reddened by wildfire smoke, the sun is seen reflected off windows at the train station in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Area residents have been on and off of evacuation orders of the past month as fires grow and move with intense and unpredictable winds. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

caption arrowCaption
Reddened by wildfire smoke, the sun is seen reflected off windows at the train station in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Area residents have been on and off of evacuation orders of the past month as fires grow and move with intense and unpredictable winds. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

caption arrowCaption
A sunset is seen through plumes of wildfire smoke in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Area residents have been on and off of evacuation orders of the past month as fires grow and move with intense and unpredictable winds. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

A sunset is seen through plumes of wildfire smoke in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Area residents have been on and off of evacuation orders of the past month as fires grow and move with intense and unpredictable winds. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

caption arrowCaption
A sunset is seen through plumes of wildfire smoke in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. Area residents have been on and off of evacuation orders of the past month as fires grow and move with intense and unpredictable winds. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

Credit: Cedar Attanasio

Credit: Cedar Attanasio