500 square miles so far, with estimates it may reach 1,000 to 1,500 square miles.

Northern New Mexico’s still raging wildfire—now the largest in that state’s modern history—did not start out as entirely wild.

The wind-fueled blaze partly began as an intentional or prescribed U.S. Forest Service burn near picturesque Hermits Peak outside of Las Vegas, N.M. Such fires are set to thin forests of built-up fuel, restore forest health and prevent much bigger fires.

Source: Wildfires like New Mexico’s intentional fire are vital for forest management : NPR

There are public calls for criminal prosecution of USFS employees involved, who were apparently warned of high wind conditions when they started the prescribed burn, anyway – and which may become one of the nation’s worst wildfires.

Update: So it wasn’t climate change/global heating/climate emergency then: Forest Service says it started all of New Mexico’s largest wildfire | Reuters

By EdwardM