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More New Mexico Residents Evacuate as Wildfire Moves Closer to Las Vegas

Fire officials reported on Monday that the Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak fires were over 120,600 acres and 20 percent contained.

LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — Wind-whipped flames are marching across more of New Mexico’s tinder-dry mountainsides, forcing the evacuation of area residents and dozens of patients from the state's psychiatric hospital as firefighters scramble to keep new wildfires from growing.

The big blaze burning near the community of Las Vegas has charred more than 217 square miles. Residents in neighborhoods on the edge of Las Vegas were told to be ready to leave their homes.

It's the biggest wildfire in the U.S. and is moving quickly through groves of ponderosa pine because of hot, dry and windy conditions that make for extreme wildfire danger.

Forecasters are warning of extreme fire danger across New Mexico and in western Texas.