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Strong Winds in New Mexico May Push Fire Closer to Las Vegas

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LAS VEGAS, N.M. (AP) — Residents of the small northeastern New Mexico

town of Las Vegas have been watching aircraft disappear into a giant

plume of smoke to fight a growing wildfire that has burned hundreds of

square miles, destroyed about 170 homes and threatens more destruction.

Officials on Wednesday said winds could push the fire toward Las Vegas.

New Mexico’s Democratic governor on Tuesday she's seeking a federal

disaster declaration for the largest blaze burning in the U.S. Gov.

Michelle Lujan Grisham said 15,500 homes are evacuated while the blaze

burns near towns dotting mountainsides, towering ponderosa pine forests

and meadows. She said the number of homes destroyed likely will

increase.