A wildfire in Southern California more than tripled in size overnight and forced officials to close a major highway, while another blaze in New Mexico had communities on edge after destroying two dozen homes, according to Reuters Friday. It grew from 1,200 acres (486 hectares) on Thursday night to more than 4,000 acres (1,619 hectares) early Friday, said Kerry Bierman, a spokesperson for the joint operations centre fighting the fire.


The California fire, which broke out on Wednesday in the Los Padres National Forest for reasons that remain under investigation, has not caused any injuries and officials have reported little property damage. Hundreds of fire-fighters working on the blaze had it about 5 per cent contained on Friday.

In another part of the Southwest, firefighters on Friday sought to make headway against a wildfire in central New Mexico that has burned more than 16,000 acres (6,475 hectares) of timber and logging zones, and forced hundreds of residents to evacuate, officials said to Reuters.

As well Friday morning, major wildfires burning in New Mexico and Arizona have prompted evacuations and a state of emergency as weather conditions do little to assist firefighters, said the Weather Network.

The fire, which started on Tuesday morning approximately 25 miles southeast of Albuquerque, prompted Governor Susana Martinez to declare a state of emergency on Thursday as the fire pushes toward the north-east.

Meanwhile in Arizona, fire crews made “good progress” overnight in fighting the so-called Cedar Creek Fire, according to Friday morning updates.