California desert fire forces dozens of people to evacuate

California desert fire forces dozens of people to evacuate

An aggressive wildfire engulfed more than two square miles within a few hours on Sunday, forcing dozens of people to evacuate from a small town in the California desert close to the Mexico border.

Kendall Bortisser, a spokesperson for the state fire department, said nearly 75 people were forced to evacuate from Potrero Sunday afternoon due to increasing threat from the growing wildfire.

Horses and other animals were also moved to safer locations. Potrero is a small town along State Route 94 (SR 94) just a few miles north of Mexico.

Initially, fire officials said that all of Potrero’s nearly 600 residents had been evacuated. But, they later said that only around 75 residents were asked to evacuate.

The blaze reportedly broke out shortly before noon as temperatures were in triple digits. Winds helped the blaze at high speeds.

The region’s parched vegetation is making it easier for wildfires to get ignited and grow. Last week, a 28-square-mile fire in New Mexico destroyed nearly two dozen homes in the Manzano Mountains. In eastern Arizona, a wildfire burned 19 square miles southwest of Show Low, and it is still alive. However, containment increased to 40 per cent.