Wind and wildfire concerns continue in New Mexico

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The winds may not be as strong Thursday, but that doesn’t mean New Mexicans can relax. Several wildfires are still burning across the state, and incoming increased wind speeds are only going to intensify wildfire concerns.

Andrew Church, a National Weather Service meteorologist, said the state can expect intense wind to return Friday.

"We’re talking about widespread wind gusts you know, ranging from 55 to 70 miles per hour," he said.

New Mexico has seen the damaging effects of wind and fire. The Cooks Peak Fire was originally estimated at 3,500 acres and within hours spread to over 20,000 acres.

Right now, that fire in Mora County is still 0% contained. The wind has crippled aerial firefighting efforts there.

Not all the state’s fires are seeing growth though. The Hermits Peak Fire is now 9% contained and it’s burned over 7,500 acres.
The McBride Fire in Ruidoso has burned over 6,000 acres but is now 89% contained.

PNM said to be aware of downed powerlines with heavy winds. If you see one, do not touch it. Call PNM or 911 and they will take care of it.

The power company said they have mitigation efforts year-round – clearing brush and trees by their powerlines.

The Nogal Fire in Lincoln County was started by a downed powerline.

You can also be proactive ahead of the wind. Experts said to tie down anything that could fly into powerlines, and if you see smoke, call 911.