state New Mexico city Albuquerque testing reports Waters state New Mexico city Albuquerque

Miscalculations, errors blamed for massive New Mexico blaze

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Image of emergency lights on a fire truck (Photo by Universal Images Group via Getty Images) ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - U.S.

Forest Service employees made multiple miscalculations, used inaccurate models and underestimated how dry conditions were in the Southwest, causing a planned burn to reduce the threat of wildfires to explode into the largest blaze in New Mexico’s recorded history, the agency said Tuesday.The agency quietly posted an 80-page review that details the planning missteps and the conditions on the ground as crews ignited the prescribed fire in early April.

The report states officials who planned the operation underestimated the amount of timber and vegetation that was available to fuel the flames, the exceptional dry conditions and the rural villages and water supplies that would be threatened if things went awry.Within hours of declaring the test fire a success that day, multiple spot fires were reported outside containment lines and there were not enough resources or water to rein them in."The devastating impact of this fire to the communities and livelihoods of those affected in New Mexico demanded this level of review to ensure we understand how this tragic event unfolded," U.S.

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