Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire Continues to Grow in Gila Wilderness, New Mexico, USA – May 30th, 201233.2N 108W
A wildfire raging out of control in southwestern New Mexico grew by 30 square miles overnight Monday. The massive blaze is on track to become the largest in the state’s history. More than 1,100 firefighters are battling the lightning-sparked blaze as it burns in rugged terrain in the Gila Wilderness near the New Mexico/Arizona border.
Whipped by strong winds, the Whitewater-Baldy Complex fire, also known as the Gila Wilderness blaze, is expected to break the record set by last year’s devastating Las Conchas wildfire that scorched 244 square miles. It’s burned at least a dozen summer cabins and is a long way from containment.
Experts say low humidity and prolonged drought are complicating the firefighting effort, and officials have had little time to assess the damage. The fire is reportedly growing in all directions and spreading towards communities, ranches and homes on the Western perimeter.