Wildfires: New Mexico and Florida the latest hotspots

Incident commander Rob Shackelford views flames at the Pains Bay Fire in North Carolina. PHOTO BY B STRAWSER, USFWS.

Structures threatened in Gila Hot Springs, N.M. and the Big Cypress Preserve in Florida

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — While cooler weather and somewhat higher relative humidities have helped firefighters control a number of huge wildfire in Texas, the 3,600-acre Schwartz Fire, 20 miles east of Marathon, is growing quickly in dormant brush, hardwood slash and tall grass fuels.

The fire, which started May 7, is only 5 percent contained and threatens to move east quickly under gusty winds, highs around 100 degrees and 3 percent relative humidity. Click here to get all Texas wildfire updates from the Texas Forest Service.

Dangerous new blazes have been reported in South Carolina, Florida and New Mexico, where the 27,000 Miller Fire, near Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, has forced the evacuation of Gila Hot Springs.

The Miller Fire, near Gila Hot Springs, New Mexico, from the air. Click on the image to see more pictures from this fire. PHOTO COURTESY GILA NATIONAL FOREST.

The Miller Fire is burning about 25 miles north of Silver City in short-grass fuels and pine. According to a May 8 incident report, 104 firefighters are on-hand. The fire is still very active, with flames burning two to three feet high, in steep and rugged terrain. More pics here.

In South Carolina, 83 firefighters are working the 20,000-acre Pains Bay wildfire, burning in coastal wetlands south of Highway 264. The fire is headed for the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in Dare County, North Carolina. The fire spread rapidly in danger conditions, including low relative humidity, extremely dry and dense fuels, and gusty winds.

Smoke hangs in the air at sunrise at the Jarhead Fire in Florida. PHOTO COURTESY KOELTZOW.

In Florida, the 27,000-acre Jarhead Fire in Big Cypress National Preserve threatens numerous grand-fathered camps, residences, and other structures within the Big Cypress National Preserve. According to the latest Inciweb update, many are occupied by residents who will not evacuate. Rains on May 8 helped damper the flames and firefighters have the blaze 33 percent contained, but drier weather could lead to rapid growth.

More images from the Jarhead Fire are online here.

Updates on all active wildfires across the U.S. are online at www.inciweb.org.

Some more recent Summit Voice headlines:

Summit County: Sixth-snowiest winter on record

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Colorado River: ‘It shouldn’t be about power and money’

Breckenridge: Godspeed Collective showing art at Clint’s

Colo. Wildlife Commission opposes Over the River project

Morning photo: Spring avalanches

Wildfires: New Mexico and Florida the latest hotspots

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