New Mexico – Wildfires are burning in four US states as temperatures
are threatening record highs, with mass evacuations having taken place in
California, Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.
A blaze known as the Dog Head fire broke out in rural New Mexico
on Wednesday, around 50km southeast of Albuquerque. Torrance County Sheriff,
Heath White said his office was evacuating about 200 people.
The fire has burned through timber in central parts of the state,
pushing smoke towards cities more than 160km away as flames continued to
Meanwhile, 400 homes and businesses have been evacuated in
southern California as hot and windy weather feeds the flames.
County Fire Department Public Information Officer David Zaniboni said the main
concern was keeping everyone safe from the encroaching flames.
"We want to get this fire out. We have wind and high
temperatures expected," Zaniboni said.
"With wind and low humidity, it's a recipe for disaster when
it comes to wildfires so we want to get on this thing as fast as we can."
The Sherpa Fire, as it's called, is located along the Pacific
coast. Two state beaches and some ranch land have been evacuated, and the 101
Freeway had to be closed on Wednesday and Thursday.
Arizona has suffered likewise. It was reported that Navajo County
officials issued "pre-evacuation" orders as the Cedar Creek Fire
approaches Show Low, Pinetop-Lakeside, McNary, Fort Apache and the Hon-Dah
The National Weather Service (NWS) have issued excessive heat
warnings across the southwestern states, including California, Nevada and
The NWS have predicted temperatures around 48C in the coming days
in Phoenix. The all-time June record stands at 50C, set on June 26, 1990.