New Mexico wildfires kill 2, destroy 1,400 buildings

Mexico City : Two people have died in wildfires in southern New Mexico that have burned over 1,400 homes and other structures and triggered the evacuation of around 8,000 residents from the mountain resort community of Ruidoso.The unidentified skeletal remains of a person were found in the driver’s seat of a burned out car, New Mexico State Police reported on Wednesday. Another victim was identified as 60-year-old Patrick Pearson.The relatively small blazes are burning around 135 miles southeast of Albuquerque, the state’s largest city, in an area that has suffered a string of wildfires, including one that killed two people in 2022. New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday requested a major disaster declaration from President Joe Biden for the South Fork and Salt fires, which have burned over 23,000 acres (9,308 hectares) to the north and south of Ruidoso.New Mexico is caught in a nearly three-decade-long drought that has made wildfires more destructive and faster moving. In 2022 the state suffered the largest blaze in the continental United States which burned over 341,000 acres (138,000 hectares).

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