Record New Mexico Wildfire Threatens To Spread, Currently 17% Contained

The wildfire that is ravaging much of southwestern New Mexico has already set a record as the largest in the states history and now authorities are warning that the wildfire is threatening to spread, potentially destroying thousands of more acres of land.

The fire continues to spread despite the best efforts of 1,236 personnel who are fighting the fire. According to the states forest service only 17% of the wildfire has been contained at this time.

Firefighters are dealing with a fire that was started by two separate lightning strikes, the first which started on May 9 at the Whitewater Baldy Complex and destroyed 227,000 acres of land and the second which started at Gila National Forest on May 23.

The area is currently experiencing a drought which CNN warns could push smoke into the area well into monsoon season which begins in July according to New Mexico department of health secretary Catherine Torres.

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For some residents the efforts of firefighters will allow them to return to their homes on Monday, specifically those residents who live in the community of Mogollon. An evacuation order still remains in place for Willow Creek and the blaze is now 15 miles east of Glenwood, New Mexico.

Authorities warn residents in the area that further evacuation orders could be delivered as 40 and 50 mph winds have caused uncertain conditions at times.

The scorching caused by the wildfire has already consumed an area 150% the size of Chicago and authorities are warning children and adults with heart disease to stay indoors to avoid potentially deadly fumes.