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Living in a tinder box

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Daily Press Staff Writer

Land in the Artesia area has been scorched with 28 significant fires in the past 30 days, marking a 600 percent increase in wildfires from this time last year.

According to Chief J.D. Hummingbird of the Artesia Fire Department, the high occurrences are potentially record-breaking and show no signs of slowing down.

“It’s one of the worst fire seasons we have on record,” Hummingbird said. “The bottom line is its really bad and we don’t anticipate it getting any better in the next 60 days.”

Statewide, New Mexico is facing similar issues, with 244 significant blazes burning an estimated 200,000 acres throughout the state in the past 30 days. That number, along with Artesia’s 28 recorded fires, does not include the minor grass and brush fires occurring on less than five acres.

The high incident of fires can be attributed to two main factors: severe drought conditions and high winds. … For the rest of the story, subscribe in print and on the web.

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