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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) -- The more than 1,200 firefighters who are battling the nation's largest wildfire in rugged mountains and canyons of southwestern New Mexico are racing to build lines to corral the massive blaze.
The fire had charred more than 354 square miles by Saturday morning, and crews were bracing for more dry and windy conditions.
...Fire authorities said the blaze in the Gila National Forest - the largest on record in New Mexico as well as the country's biggest current blaze - had burned through 340 square miles, or 218,000 acres, of terrain.
The wildfire near the Arizona border is fueling experts' predictions that this is a preview of things to come across the West as several states contend with a dangerous mix of wind, low humidity and tinder-dry fuels.
Nearly 6,000 people filled the Ruidoso High School gym to question authorities about how close the Little Bear Fire will get to their homes.
On Sunday, crews said the fire in southeastern New Mexico had charred more than 10,000 acres. “Everything is there,” Alto, NM resident Elaine Grimes said. “I could lose everything. It's in god's hands now.”