Two massive wildfires raced across tinder dry forests in southern New Mexico in 2012, setting records for the largest and most destructive fires in the state's recorded history.
In Colorado, the worst fire season in a decade has yet to be fully extinguished. Dense pockets within Rocky Mountain National Park continue to smolder just days before the new year.
Statistics from the National Interagency Fire Center show more than 9.2 million acres have been charred by wildfire so far this year.
Colorado, California, Idaho and several Western states saw more land burned in 2012 than the previous year.
There is some good news despite the records set in New Mexico and the dry weather and above-average temperatures felt across the region. The statistics show Arizona, New Mexico and Texas had substantially fewer acres blackened this year than in 2011.