The Lookout

Wildfires burning in at least 3 states

Dylan Stableford, Yahoo News
The Lookout

A wildfire burns in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, May 26, 2012. (Mich. Dept. of Natural Resources)

Wildfires burning in at least three states have thousands of firefighters scrambling to contain them.

In New Mexico, a pair of fires sparked by lightning merged and are close to becoming the largest wildfire in state history, fire officials told the Associated Press. More than 1,100 firefighters and nine helicopters are fighting the blaze, the AP said.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, the fire now covers 152,000 acres of New Mexico's Gila National Forest, which is 5,000 acres shy of the state record set last year. Since May 9, when the first of those two fires was spotted, a dozen cabins and several homes have been destroyed. Smoke from the Gila fire has spread across New Mexico and parts of Arizona, prompting health alerts. No fatalities have been reported.

[Slideshow: New Mexico wildfire]

In Colorado, hundreds of firefighters are battling an 8-square-mile blaze in the western part of the state, as well as a fire about half that size southwest of Denver.

As is the case in New Mexico, dry, hot conditions have hindered firefighting efforts in Colorado, according to fire officials.

In Michigan, a wildfire is covering more than 30 square miles of Michigan's Upper Peninsula. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, nearly 100 structures have been destroyed by the "Duck Lake Fire," which also began with a lightning strike. No injuries or fatalities have been reported.

High winds have stalled the firefighting efforts, but recent rain helped, the AP said. On Monday, the fire had burned more than 22,000 acres, or 34 square miles. Smaller fires in other parts of Michigan have been mostly contained.

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