PHOENIX — Fire season is here and is already hitting parts of the southwest rather hard, prompting Arizona hotshots and wildland firefighting personnel to hit the road to help.
In all, more than 100 Arizona State Forestry personnel and two hotshot crews from the Tonto National Forest are fighting several New Mexico wildfires.
The McBride Fire in the southern New Mexico mountain community of Ruidoso has damaged 200 structures, including homes, and taken the lives of two people.
Patrick Moore, the superintendent of the Mesa Interagency Hotshot Crew, says they're currently putting lines in to keep the fire from going where it wants to go.
Arizona crews are also assisting with the Big Hole Fire burning south of Albuquerque along with the Hermit's Peak Fire in northern New Mexico.
There's no timetable for the crews to return home, especially as fire season ramps up.
"If fires keep popping through New Mexico, Arizona, and western Texas, it's entirely possible that we aren't home until sometime after April 28," Moore says.
The latest wildfire outlook shows another active few months ahead, including in Arizona.