MAGDALENA, N.M. – Firefighters are spending the weekend battling several wildfires in California, New Mexico and Arizona.
A wildfire is burning nearly 12 square miles in the San Mateo Mountains near Magdalena, which is about 100 miles southwest of Albuquerque. The fire was caused by lightning and is 20 percent contained.
In Arizona, firefighters are battling a much larger blaze. The Juniper Fire just south of the town of Young is now burning on over 28 square miles in the Tonto National Forest. That fire is also 20 percent contained and was caused by lightning.
In Southern California, a brush fire has burned 30 acres near Temecula, forcing the closure of the southbound I-15 freeway. No homes are immediately threatened.
Officials say the extreme heat and a dry winter mean there’s a high risk of wildfires. Summer has typically been considered wildfire season but experts now say blazes happen year-round.