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Crews make gains against New Mexico wildfire, largest in US

Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak
Satellite image ©2022 Maxar Technologies via AP, File
This satellite image provided by Maxar Technologies shows the active fire lines of the Hermits Peak wildfire, in Las Vegas, N.M., May 11, 2022. More than 5,000 firefighters are battling multiple wildland blazes in dry, windy weather across the Southwest. Evacuation orders remained in place Thursday, May 19, 2022, for residents near fires in Texas, Colorado and New Mexico.

Crews are making progress in stopping the nation’s largest active wildfire from spreading.

Gains on Monday came on the fourth straight day of warnings of extreme fire conditions in northern New Mexico.

The nearly 8-week-old Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak Fire was surrounded by containment lines cut and scraped around half of its perimeter in forested mountains and foothills east of Santa Fe.

More than 3,000 firefighters and other personnel have been assigned to the 315,000-acre blaze, the largest in New Mexico’s recorded history.

Officials say crews in recent days were able to extinguish hot spots and allow only minimal growth.

Strong winds and low humidity are expected to return to the area in the coming days, which could complicate further containment efforts.