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Winds Continue To Wreak Havoc On Fighting Wildfires; Santa Fe Holding Meeting Monday Night

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Kevin Meerschaert
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Operation Section Chief Todd Abel gives an update Monday morning regarding the Calf Canyon - Hermits Peak fire.

High winds and low humidity are continuing to cause problems for firefighters battling the Calf Canyon - Hermits Peak wildfire near Las Vegas

The largest blaze in the country is less than half contained and has burned over 296 square miles.

Officials have been hoping winds would die down enough to send up helicopters to assist the firefighters on the ground.

Operations Chief Todd Abel says they have made great progress in containing the fire on its eastern edge near Las Vegas but winds have made it more difficult on the northern and western edges. He says the good news is that the forecast is for high winds to start to ease in the evenings.

“Starting tonight those winds are going to decrease just a little bit which will help us have a better opportunity to get some protection of those values taken care of, hopefully mitigate a little more fire activity but then the winds will pick back up during the day and will back king of in the same fight we’re in right now.”

Cities across northern New Mexico are sending aid and supplies to the fire area to help workers and evacuees, while also making preparations in case new fires start closer to home.     

Santa Fe will be holding a wildfire preparedness briefing Monday night at 7pm. It will air live on the city’s YouTube Channel.

Kevin Meerschaert comes to Santa Fe from Jacksonville, Florida where he spent the past 20 years covering politics, government and pretty much everything else.