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Burned cabin in Willow Creek.
Updated: Tuesday, 29 May 2012, 9:02 AM MDT
Published : Tuesday, 29 May 2012, 9:02 AM MDT
ALBUQUERQUE (AP) - A massive wildfire burning in a mountainous southwestern New Mexico forest is close to becoming the largest fire in state history.
The U.S. Forest Service said the erratic blaze in Gila National Forest had grown to about 152,000 acres by Tuesday — just 5,000 acres from breaking the state record. It is about 15 miles east of Glenwood, N.M., a small town with a few hundred residents.
The fire was sparked by lightning two weeks ago. More than 1,100 firefighters and nine helicopters are fighting the blaze.
A blaze that charred about 244 square miles and threatened the nation's premier nuclear facility last year currently holds the record for the state's largest fire.