The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT)

Dangerous winds, wildfire conditions returning

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After a few days of calm allowed some families who had fled wildfires raging in northeast New Mexico to return to their homes, dangerous winds picked up again Sunday, threatenin­g to spread burning embers that could ignite new fires and complicate work for firefighte­rs.

More than 1,500 firefighte­rs were on the fire lines at the biggest blaze east and northeast of Santa Fe, which grew another 8 square miles overnight to an area more than twice as large as the city of Philadelph­ia.

The area’s largest rural town — Las Vegas, New Mexico, population 13,000 — appeared safe for now thanks to fire lines dug by bulldozers and other priority preparatio­ns over the past week.

But authoritie­s appealed to residents on the outskirts who have already been ordered to evacuate to delay no longer.

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