Erupting into the largest fire ever recorded in New Mexico, the Las Conchas Fire has today consumed 103,842 acres of forestland. The massive blaze surpasses the previous record holder – the Dry Lakes Fire – that torched more than 94,000 acres in the Gila National Forest in 2003.
The fastest moving portion of the Las Conchas blaze is speeding northbound and has spurred Santa Clara Pueblo Gov. Walter Dasheno to declare a state of emergency for the pueblo. The fire has burned nearly 145 square miles, including 6,000 acres within the pueblo’s watershed.
More than 1,000 firefighters are battling the blaze, which began Sunday afternoon in the Jemez Mountains southwest of Los Alamos.