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The sun rose behind a wall of smoke from a large wildfire burning out of control in northern Colorado, while an unchecked blaze choked a small community in southern New Mexico as authorities in both regions on Monday battled fires.
Firefighters on Sunday were fighting wildfires that have spread quickly in parched forests in Colorado and New Mexico, forcing hundreds of people from their homes and the evacuation of wolves from a sanctuary.
Firefighters worked to steer a major wildfire away from a New Mexico town where residents fled the approaching flames, while some others evacuated because of blazes around the Southwest were allowed to return to their homes.
Dan Ware, a spokesman for the New Mexico State Forestry Division, said the number of Ruidoso evacuees was in the hundreds, but he didn't have an exact figure.
The latest New Mexico fire is smaller than the Whitewater-Baldy fire – the largest in the state's history – but it's more concerning to authorities because it started closer to homes, said Dan Ware, a spokesman for the New Mexico State Forestry Division.