Drought, Fires Top 2012 NM Headlines

Dec 24, 2012

From dry river beds to dusty pastures and raging wildfires, extreme drought dominated New Mexico headlines for a second consecutive year in 2012.

Farmers, ranchers and water managers started 2012 hoping against all predictions that this would be the year the weather pattern responsible for pushing any meaningful moisture from the state — dreaded La Nina — would finally take a hike. Now, New Mexico is on pace to mark the second driest year on record.

Another year of drought also served as fuel for the largest and most destructive fires in the state's recorded history.

Political scandals in Sunland Park, the loss of famous political and sports figures, the announcement of a U.S. Justice Department investigation of the Albuquerque Police Department and a record-setting supersonic skydive in the New Mexico desert also made headlines in 2012.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.