Biden declares disaster for wildfire-hit New Mexico

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United States (US) President Joe Biden has declared a disaster in wildfire-hit New Mexico, and ordered immediate federal aid for the region.

It’s the second-largest wildfire in state history, burning over 160,000 acres so far and destroying hundreds of homes.

The White House said on Wednesday federal aid would be made available to the northern counties of Mora and San Miguel.

Firefighters are actively trying to contain the blaze there as it approaches the city of Las Vegas, New Mexico.

Biden’s declaration also provides support to several counties scorched by blazes earlier this year by divvying out grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other recovery programs.

Wildfires in the region have started earlier and become more widespread than ever before due to climate change, according to scientists.