Residents of around 900 houses were under evacuation in coastal California and one firefighter was injured when a wildfire fire torched about 200 acres (81 hectares) in Laguna Niguel on Wednesday, Orange County officials said.
In New Mexico, meanwhile, more than 300 homes and other buildings have been destroyed in wildfires burning since early last month. As westerly winds picked up Thursday, firefighters torched fire breaks and set up sprinkler systems to save ranches and homes around 15 miles (24 km) 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.
"We are red flag conditions today so high, high winds," Todd Abel, a leader on the inter-agency team fighting the fire, told a briefing.