New Mexico governor declares state of emergency due to multiple wildfires
Fire threat remains high from Arizona to the Texas Panhandle
The governor of New Mexico has declared a state of emergency for five counties, as several large wildfires burn across the state.
Two fires east of Santa Fe -- the Calf Canyon Fire and the Hermits Peak Fire -- have merged, burning a combined 42,341 acres, fire officials said Saturday morning.
Due to the merging of the two fires, fire officials are not able to accurately calculate containment. Damage assessment is also ongoing, after "extreme" weather conditions on Friday caused structure loss, fire officials said.
Several communities in San Miguel and Mora counties had been evacuated due to the Calf Canyon Fire, and a red flag warning was issued Saturday as gusts are expected to exceed 40 mph.
The rapidly moving Cooks Peak Fire in Mora County has also exploded due to high winds, burning 48,672 acres while 0% contained as of Saturday morning, fire officials said.
Additional evacuation orders were issued for Mora County due to the Cooks Peak Fire, as gusty and erratic wind conditions Saturday were expected to challenge firefighters with "active fire moving in multiple directions," fire officials said.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham issued a state of emergency for Colfax, Lincoln, San Miguel and Valencia counties on Friday due to the fire threat. On Saturday, she issued a similar declaration for Mora County.
"This executive order makes funding and state resources available for communities battling ongoing wildfires," she said.
Nearly a dozen large, uncontained wildfires are burning from Arizona to the Texas Panhandle, as the wildfire threat in the region remains high Saturday due to windy conditions. Extreme to exceptional drought conditions from the southern Plains into the Southwest also add to the fire weather potential.
In Arizona, Gov. Doug Ducey also declared a state of emergency this week due to the "fast-growing" Tunnel Fire in Coconino County, as strong winds helped fuel fires across the state.
The Tunnel Fire has burned 21,164 acres and is 3% contained as of Saturday morning, according to fire officials.
The blaze is one of several large wildfires active in the state, along with the Crooks Fire, which has burned 2,804 acres south of Prescott and is 5% contained.
ABC News' Dan Peck, Daniel Amarante and Lissette Rodriguez contributed to this report.
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