Crews battling a massive wildfire in eastern Arizona for two weeks shifted their focus Monday to New Mexico, where they lit fires to stifle flare-ups that skipped along treetops threatening a small mountain town.
In the opposite corner of New Mexico, near the Colorado border, a wildfire that has forced hundreds of people from their homes more than doubled in size to an estimated 6,000 acres, after being fanned by high winds.
"We're watching trees explode before our eyes. It's horrendous," said Barbara Riley, a schoolteacher and bed-and-breakfast owner in the northeastern New Mexico community of Raton.
A 20-mile section of the main north-south highway through New Mexico and Colorado remained closed due to the fire, causing hundreds of travelers to drive hours out of their way.
At the Wallow fire Monday in Arizona, crews worked furiously to protect the working-class mountain town of Luna, N.M., just across the border, after a successful weekend of no major fire growth.