Blaze Near Carlsbad Caverns Grows to 30,438 Acres

Staff Report
NewsWest 9

CARLSBAD, N.M. – A tourist destination that attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors every year remained closed for another day Wednesday as firefighters battle a blaze that has surrounded the southeastern New Mexico park.

The fire burning at Carlsbad Caverns National Park has grown to nearly 30,500 acres.

Fire officials say back-burn operations done Tuesday around park headquarters and along a highway east of the park were successful. Crews are trying to make progress again Wednesday before winds pick up later in the week.

Officials have let residents of Whites City return and highway 62/180 south to the Texas state line has been reopened.

Officials are also evaluating when it might be safe for the park to reopen.

No decisions had been made by mid Wednesday.