The Whitewater-Baldy fire grew by another 18,000 acres yesterday to 170,272 acres, becoming the largest in the recorded history of New Mexico, surpassing last year’s Las Conchas fire which blackened 156,593 acres. The Wallow fire last year was the largest in Arizona history. It burned 538,049 acres and destroyed 32 residences.
A person has to wonder. Is this going to be the new norm — frequent record-setting fires, while the number of federal firefighters and air tankers continue to shrink?