New Mexico’s 2014 wildfire season seems to have fizzled out, but the danger is not entirely behind us.
New Mexico State Forestry spokesman Dan Ware said favorable weather combined with a public awareness of fire prevention practices has reduced the number of fires this year. “I don’t want to say that we are out of the woods yet,” he cautioned.
A New Mexico wildfire that destroyed 242 homes and businesses is now 95 percent contained as crews finish mopping up around the fire's perimeter.
Crews demobilized some equipment Friday as they restored containment lines around the 69-square-mile Little Bear fire to a more natural state. Firefighters were also able to take advantage of rain on the blaze's southern end.
The lightning-caused fire is burning near Ruidoso and started June 4.
Businesses in Ruidoso are open despite some road closures due to fire operations.
By John Miller and Susan Montoya Bryan, The Associated Press
From sites on the fringes of wildfires burning around the West, incident commanders spend nearly every waking hour huddled around maps, looking at computer screens or glued to the radio, trying to plot their next move.
Their decisions come after pouring over intelligence that's flooding in from crew leaders, weather forecasters and fuels analysts.
Elsewhere, teams of specialists smooth out the logistics of shuffling firefighters and equipment around the country.
Tom Harbour is the director of fire and aviation management for the U.S. Forest Service.