US President Joe Biden declares disaster in New Mexico wildfire zone

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In the United States, firefighters slowed the advance of the largest wildfire as heavy winds relented, while President Joe Biden approved a disaster declaration that brings new financial resources to remote stretches of New Mexico devastated by fire since early April.

A National Weather Service Meteorologist in Albuquerque, Todd Shoemake said that strong winds with gusts up to 45 miles per hour are expected to return tomorrow afternoon along with above-normal temperatures and abysmally low humidity that make for extreme fire danger.

He further said, Sunday and Monday are probably looking to be even worse. Nearly 1,300 firefighters and other personnel were assigned to the fire.

Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for an estimated 15,500 homes in outlying areas and in the valleys of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains that border Las Vegas.

The tally of homes destroyed by the fire stands around 170, but could grow higher because officials have not been able to conduct assessments in all of the burn zones.

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