New Mexico wildfire has grown to the largest in state history

A massive wildfire that has been burning for weeks is now the largest in New Mexico history.

According to Inciweb, the Hermits Peak Fire – which merged with the Calf Canyon Fire earlier this month – has burned more than 465 square miles, an area nearly the size of Los Angeles. This surpasses the 464 square miles burned by the Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire in 2012, previously the largest in state history.

The blaze is mostly burning in forested areas of northern New Mexico, but several towns have been placed under evacuation orders as the fire spread, and more than 450 structures have been destroyed.

The Hermits Peak Fire was sparked on the afternoon of April 6 and is 27% contained as of Monday morning. It was sparked by spot fires from a prescribed burn.

The fire has been fueled by windy conditions and a worsening drought that has gripped much of the West this year.

A sunset seen through a wall of wildfire smoke from the Amtrak train station in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. The Castañeda Hotel, right, hosted meals for residents and firefighters this week with sponsorships from restaurants and other businesses. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)
A sunset seen through a wall of wildfire smoke from the Amtrak train station in Las Vegas, N.M., on Saturday, May 7, 2022. The Castañeda Hotel, right, hosted meals for residents and firefighters this week with sponsorships from restaurants and other businesses. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)