Regional
12:02 pm
Fri June 14, 2013

Experts: NM Wildfire Season Depends On Weather

With each dry thunderstorm that moves across New Mexico, the chance of another wildfire breaking out goes up. But experts say it's the wind that will help determine whether the state has another record season.

Crews are already battling a handful of blazes in the Santa Fe National Forest, on private land near Whites Peak and in rugged territory in southern New Mexico.

The flames are being fueled by overcrowded forests, the terrain and dry conditions.

However, New Mexico State University wildland fire management specialist Doug Cram says the wind hasn't been as big of a factor. In 2011 and 2012, the state broke records with three massive wind-driven wildfires.

Right now, the largest fire burning in New Mexico has charred more than 37 square miles on the Valles Caldera National Preserve.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.