Publication Date May 17, 2022 | Climate Nexus Hot News

New Mexico Fire Breaks Record As Risks Rise Across US

Satellite view of active fires in New Mexico.
A satellite image shows a natural color view of active fire lines from the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon fires, near Las Vegas, New Mexico, U.S., May 11, 2022. Picture taken May 11, 2022. (Credit: Satellite image 2022 Maxar Technologies)

Fueled by a megadrought worse than any other in the last 1,200 years, the New Mexico's Calf Canyon/Hermits Peak fire is now the state's largest wildfire on record. As firefighters in New Mexico struggle to contain the blaze, a new report from the First Street Foundation details increased wildfire risk across the country due to climate change. Just under 1 in 6 people in the U.S. (16%) live in an area with hazardous wildfire risk, increasing over the next 30 years to more than 1 in 5 people in the U.S. (21%). Nearly half of the fire-vulnerable population lives in the South, and people of color face disproportionate risk.

(New Mexico fire: ReutersWashington Post $, AxiosKOB-4KOATAPCNN; Wildfire risk: (Washington Post $, New York Times $, Wall Street Journal $, E&E $, The VergeThomson Reuters FoundationAxios; Climate Signals background: WildfiresWestern U.S. megadrought)

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