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Gusts whip up New Mexico wildfire

By the CNN Wire Staff
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Residents flee as fire destroys homes
    NEW: 200 structures are threatened by the blaze
  • NEW: The fire is about 50% contained
  • It has burned some 1,776 acres, according to state forestry officials

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(CNN) -- Firefighters battling a 1,776-acre New Mexico wildfire tended to fire lines and worked to build new ones Tuesday, the New Mexico state forestry division said.

About 100 people have been evacuated from the fire's path and some 200 structures remain in danger, the agency said in an update. Around 60 structures have been damaged or destroyed, 13 of them primary residences, the agency said.

Officials said the blaze was about 50% contained.

The National Weather Service issued a "red flag" notice for Tuesday covering much of New Mexico and western Texas, warning that a combination of high winds, low humidity and heat in the afternoon would create extreme potential for fire growth. Winds of 20 to 25 mph were forecast, with gusts of up to 40 mph, the weather service said.

The forestry division said 120 firefighters from the state, Grant County and Silver City were working on the fire. Air tankers were also on order, the agency said.

The fire was man-made, but the exact cause is still undetermined, said the agency.

CNN's Leslie Tripp contributed to this report