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Wildfire burns out of control in New Mexico

By the CNN Wire Staff
updated 4:57 PM EDT, Thu May 24, 2012
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • High winds drive the blaze in the Gila National Forest of southwest New Mexico
  • The blaze destroys 12 houses and threatens a town
  • The Forest Service says containment is at "0%"

(CNN) -- A wildfire driven by high winds in the rugged terrain of the Gila National Forest in southwest New Mexico has destroyed 12 homes and continues to burn out of control, the U.S. Forest Service said Thursday.

In a posting on its incident information system website, the Forest Service said the Whitewater-Baldy Creek Complex Fire has spread to 70,000 acres and caused the voluntary evacuation of the former mining town of Mogollon.

The blaze "continues to burn in steep, rugged terrain" with firefighters unable to contain it "due to extreme fire behavior and rough terrain," the Forest Service posting said, putting the level of containment at "0%."

According to CNN affiliate KRQE, high winds in the area are expected to continue until Saturday. The station reported the fire almost tripled in size since Tuesday.

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