Regional
2:38 pm
Thu May 24, 2012

Wildfire Destroys 12 Homes

 

Authorities expect dangerous fire conditions to continue through Saturday in southwestern New Mexico, where a fire in the Gila National Forest has burned across more than 110 square miles.

Fire information officer Iris Estes says winds and erratic flames forced firefighters to pull back on Thursday and monitor the fire's progress.

The wind-whipped fire burned Wednesday afternoon through the Willow Creek subdivision, a small summer community in southwestern New Mexico. Officials confirmed 12 cabins along with seven small outbuildings were destroyed. The damage assessment was continuing Thursday.

Fire managers said employees with the State Forestry Division and the U.S. Forest Service would be contacting property owners.

Willow Creek residents evacuated earlier this week, and the community of Mogollon was under voluntary evacuation. Authorities said many structures are still at risk.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.