Dangerous fire weather in the United States threatens efforts to contain the fires

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Dangerous fire weather was expected to develop on Friday, worsening conditions for firefighters across the United States

Fox Weather reported that there is an extreme fire risk in the central and southern High Plains, including Colorado and Kansas.

High fire weather risk also exists in the northeast, where gusty winds and low humidity could fuel any fires in forested areas.

While crews had made progress on the deadly Nebraska Highway 702 Fire – which has been burning since last week – officials were wary of lightning strikes and shifting winds at speeds of up to 50mph from oncoming thunderstorms.

This fire, which has burned 43,582 acres, is now 88% contentaccording to the Nebraska Emergency Management Agency.

On Thursday, crews focused on two areas of uncontrolled burning just south of US Highway 6 along the Republican River.

Red flag warnings for extreme fire danger were in place Thursday for Nebraska, all of New Mexico and parts of Arizona, Nevada, Colorado, Texas and Oklahoma.

Bad firefighting weather generated unusually hot and fast fires for this time of year.

A wildfire in southern Nebraska near the village of Edison on April 7, 2022.
Nebraska State Patrol via AP

The US Forest Service said firefighters were working to contain the Barnett branch fire in North Carolina, which was first reported on Wednesday, and a new fire in New Mexico broke out in Alamo Navajo Indian Reservation Thursday.

At least 166 homes were destroyed in northeastern New Mexico where the largest fire currently burning in the United States and winds of up to 50 mph were also expected in the drought-stricken region.

According to the United States National Forest Service for Santa Fe National Forecast, the Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak fires are now 37% contained, spanning 65,824 acres.

The Calf Canyon fire in the mountains south of Mora, New Mexico on April 25, 2022.
The Calf Canyon fire in the mountains south of Mora, New Mexico on April 25, 2022.
REUTERS/Andrew Hay

The agency noted that a wind-driven run on the northern edge of the blaze challenged firefighters both on the ground and in the air Thursday.

About 3,000 firefighters were battling blazes in Arizona and New Mexico.

In the Copper State, the authorities downgraded some evacuation orders to tunnel fire near Flagstaff.

U.S. Forest Service aircraft battling the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon fires in the Santa Fe National Forest on April 26, 2022.
U.S. Forest Service aircraft battling the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon fires in the Santa Fe National Forest on April 26, 2022.
J. Michael Johnson/US Forest Service via AP

The fire is now 89% contentspanning 19,075 acres.

This fire – one of many in Arizona – affected more than 100 properties and burned 30 residences.

the National Interservice Center for Firefighters mentioned Friday that 13 large fires burned 236,407 acres.

Over a million acres have been burning across the country since January 1.

Smoke from the tunnel fire behind a home near Flagstaff on April 19, 2022.
Smoke from the tunnel fire behind a home near Flagstaff on April 19, 2022.
Reuters Television/Reuters
A pair of Coconino National Forest resource advisors recording data at the scene of tunnel fires on April 21, 2022.
A pair of Coconino National Forest resource advisors recording data at the scene of tunnel fires on April 21, 2022.
Tom Story/Northern Arizona Type 3 Incident Management Team, via AP

According to a recent outlook issued by the NIFC.

Wildfires have become a year-round threat in the West. Scientists said the problems have been exacerbated by decades of fire suppression and poor management, as well as a more than 20-year-old mega-drought that studies link to human-caused climate change.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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