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Merged fires char thousands of acres, destroy 12 homes in southwestern NM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) ' Fire managers say a dozen homes and several outbuildings in a summer community in southwestern New Mexico have been destroyed by two lightning-sparked blazes that have merged.
A wind-whipped wildfire burned through the Willow Creek area on Wednesday, and officials confirmed Thursday that the homes along with seven small outbuildings were destroyed. Seven Willow Creek residents evacuated earlier this week.
Fire information officer Sharma Hutchinson says the community of Mogollon is under voluntary evacuation. Authorities say many structures are still at risk.
The 110-square-mile fire has tripled in size over the last three days, racing across more than 70,500 acres of steep, rugged terrain in the Gila National Forest. There is no containment.
Hutchinson says firefighters anticipate winds of up to 35 mph on Thursday.