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Evacuation orders lifted in New Mexico wildfire


Officials in Torrance County, New Mexico, lifted evacuation orders Sunday for residents near the Paradise Loop Fire.

The wildfire was sparked Saturday by burning debris on private land, officials said, and has burned at least 52 acres as of Sunday afternoon, including three buildings. It’s now 65% contained, according to a news release from New Mexico Fire Information.

“Firefighters worked through the night to secure containment lines in preparation for the high winds forecast for today and Monday,” the statement said.

The National Weather Service Albuquerque Office said there is a high fire danger for most of the state, and red flag warnings are in effect from Sunday to Monday evening. A red flag warning means “warm temperatures, very low humidities, and stronger winds are expected to combine to produce an increased risk of fire danger,” according to NWS.

The Paradise Loop Fire comes at the same time that warm and dry weather has led to critical fire conditions for the Four Corners region and southern Plains, NWS said. The region is experiencing very low relative humidity levels and strong gusty winds.

Residents around Edgewood were ordered to evacuate Saturday as crews battled the flames. Torrance County is about 65 miles southeast of Albuquerque.

There are currently more than 11 million people under a red flag warning in Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, New Mexico, Nevada, the Oklahoma Panhandle, the Texas Panhandle and Utah.

The bulk of the warnings are active until Monday evening.

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