Wildfires Continue to Burn Across New Mexico


By early May 2022, nearly a quarter million acres had burned in New Mexico, almost double the annual total of 2021.

Early season wildfires continued to rage in the first week of May 2022 in northern New Mexico. The blazes have been driven by high winds, low humidity, and exceptionally dry tinder—grass, brush, and timber—that are providing ample fuel for burning. The fires have destroyed hundreds of structures and prompted the evacuation of thousands of homes. On May 3, 2022, seven large fires were still burning across the state.

The natural-color image above was acquired on May 3 by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Aqua satellite.

Earlier in the week, a few days of cooler, slightly more humid weather provided a brief respite before drier, windier conditions brought red flag warnings back to the state. More than a thousand firefighters are battling the Calf Canyon-Hermits Peak fire, two fires that merged on April 22-23 to form one of the largest wildfires in state history.

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Image via NASA Earth Observatory