Wildfire close to being New Mexico's largest ever

Associated Press Modified: May 29, 2012 at 5:31 pm •  Published: May 29, 2012
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Under the declaration, the state is eligible for funding through the Fire Management Assistance Grant Program, which provides for the "mitigation, management, and control" of fires burning on publicly or privately owned forest or grasslands.

Also on Tuesday, Gov. Susana Martinez urged business affected by the Whitewater-Baldy Complex Fire to apply for low-interest Small Business Administration loans that could become available if enough applicants seek the help.

"As a result of this fire, small businesses are unquestionably feeling the impact, and I want to make sure that these businesses and their surrounding communities can take advantage of any assistance possible," Martinez said in a statement.

A fire last year that burned about 244 square miles was the state's largest. That blaze threatened property around Los Alamos National Laboratory, the nation's premier nuclear facility.

Dry and hot conditions in the Southwest have also fueled wildfires in other states, including Colorado. Hundreds of firefighters were at an 8-square-mile fire in western Colorado near that state's border with Utah, and a separate 4-square-mile blaze about 200 miles southwest of Denver.

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Follow Russell Contreras on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras



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