New Mexico fire slowed due to rain, mountain snow

The nation's largest fire has burned more than 311K acres

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The largest fire in the U.S. was slowed Tuesday due to impacts from light rain and mountain show. 

Some evacuation orders, including the for the communities of Golondrinas, Watrous and Fort Union, were downgraded on Wednesday. 

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The Calf Canyon and Hermits Peak Fires were reported at 42% containment. 

Nearly 3,000 personnel were working to battle the 311,148-acre blaze. 

The Entiat Hot Shots work the night shift on Division K of the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires in New Mexico.

The Entiat Hot Shots work the night shift on Division K of the Hermits Peak and Calf Canyon Fires in New Mexico. (Joseph Koffel, U.S. Forest Service)

The U.S. Forest Service said that residents of San Miguel, Mora, Taos, Colfax and Santa Fe Counties should remain on high alert for changes to evacuation statuses and road closures.

Elsewhere in New Mexico, a wildfire near the Los Alamos National Laboratory was 85% contained and a fire was burning through portions of the Gila National Forest and outlying areas.

WILDFIRE EFFORTS IN US WEST TO SEE SOME RELIEF AS EXTREME HEAT FORECAST ACROSS EAST

Fire officials said they hoped to continue to work to clear flammable vegetation and deploy aircraft ahead of worse fire weather conditions.

The National Interagency Fire Center says nine large active fire have burned 570,817 acres in five states, with New Mexico seeing the most wildfire activity. 

One new large fire was reported in Arizona.

"So far in 2022, 26,684 wildfires have burned 1,780,488 acres in the United States. This is well above the 10-year average of 20,305 wildfires and 838,935 acres burned," it said. 

Western wildfires have become a year-round threat.

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Scientists and fire experts say they are moving faster and burning hotter than ever due to climate change.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.