NM wildfire forces evacuations - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

NM wildfire forces evacuations

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The fire ignited Friday afternoon after someone burning leaves lost control of the flame. (Source: KOAT/CNN) The fire ignited Friday afternoon after someone burning leaves lost control of the flame. (Source: KOAT/CNN)

GALLUP, NM (KOAT/CNN) - Families in two communities were evacuated on Tuesday as a wildfire has grown to more than 10,000 acres.

"We have never experienced such a fire as devastating as this," Karen Johnny said.

Huge plumes of smoke continue to billow from the Chuska Mountains, between Shiprock and Gallup.

Officials said the fire ignited Friday afternoon after someone burning leaves by Assayii Lake lost control of the flame.

Already more than 10,000 acres have burned. That's about 15 square miles, and it's likely to get worse.

"It's apparently really jumping, and because of this high wind, that's what's triggering it." Johnny said.

Officials have evacuated parts of two surrounding communities, Naschitti and Sheep Springs.

So far no one has been hurt, and no homes or businesses have been destroyed.

More than 800 firefighters arrived Monday to help fight the fire.

"We welcome all help and seek all help for our Navajo people here," Johnny said.

Copyright 2014 KOAT via CNN. All rights reserved.

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