Firefighters are starting to get a handle on the biggest fire in New Mexico history, but officials say they still have a long way to go.
The conflagration — which has consumed more than 241,701 acres in the southwestern part of the state and scorched stretches of the Gila Wilderness — is now 17% contained, officials said Sunday. That’s up from 10% on Friday.
“We’ll see those containment numbers grow, but 70% of the fire is in wilderness areas, and it’s very tough to hike crews in, so we’ll see a point when those numbers slow down,” Ricardo Zuniga, a spokesman for the government inter-agency team responsible for the 1,236 personnel fighting the fire, told the Los Angeles Times.
The fire, known officially as the Whitewater-Baldy Complex fire, had threatened the nearby mining town of Mogollon and forced at least 15 families to evacuate.