New Mexico sees local and out-of-state resources for multiple wildfires

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – One wildfire can be a strain on the state’s firefighting resources, but multiple ones, at this intensity – just days apart?

KOB 4 took a closer look at the resources we have in New Mexico and the ones coming from afar.

At this time, the agency coordinating resources for the southwest portion of the country says 20 crew members have arrived in New Mexico, some from Arizona, with 39 engines, five helicopters and two planes currently in action.

“They are sent wherever they are needed,” said Punky Moore with the Southwest Coordination Center.

Some of them responding to multiple fires in New Mexico, going from one location to the other. And more help is on the way.

"We have received and are ordering crews from other geographic areas," said Moore.

That includes FEMA stepping in as well. The state was granted five federal teams, their job is to help coordinate firefighting efforts on all the wildfires here.

"That’s pretty unheard of to have that many going on at one time," said Department of Homeland Security Deputy Secretary Kelly Hamilton.

Hamilton is currently in Ruidoso for the McBride fire. The problem is, air crews are still running into those strong wind gusts – preventing aircraft ready to go from taking flight.

"I assure you none of them want to be on the ground and the crews don’t want to be on the ground, but the wind is such to where they can’t be," said Hamilton.

However, we’ve seen a few go up. But Hamilton says many are on standby, waiting for the opportunity to battle these destructive fires from the air.

KOB 4 also learned the ten tanker, which is stationed at the Albuquerque Sunport, is also battling these wildfires and is headed to the McBride fire in Ruidoso.