More than 300 properties in New Mexico and 500 in Orange Country have been destroyed so far

Wildfires edged towards mountain resort towns in northern New Mexico on Thursday and engulfed an enclave of multi-million-dollar mansions in southern California, reports Reuters.

More than 300 homes and other buildings have been destroyed in wildfires burning since early last month. As westerly winds picked up, firefighters torched fire breaks and set up sprinkler systems to save ranches and homes around 15 miles south of Angel Fire, a ski resort town.

Crews bulldozed containment lines to stop the blaze getting into Black Lake, Angel Fire, and even the Taos area, known for its UNESCO World Heritage Site Native American community.

The wildfire is on track to become the largest in New Mexico’s history.

FEMA offers assistance

Meanwhile, the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) regional administrator has authorised the use of federal funds to assist the state of California in combatting the Coastal Fire burning in Orange County.

On May 11, the state of California submitted a request for a Fire Management Assistance Grant (FMAG).

“At the time of the request, the fire threatened approximately 500 homes and 10,000 people in and around Laguna Niguel,” noted FEMA.

”The fire also threatened the Coastal Water Treatment Plant, high-voltage power transmission lines, and the Aliso Canyon and Wood Canyon Wilderness State Park.”