"Growing Fire Makes Matters Worse For NM Ranchers"

"ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- A furious wildfire torching through the mountains of southern New Mexico's Gila National Forest has grown to 127 square miles, forcing some ranchers to ship their cattle out of state as the blaze burns through entire grazing areas."

"The Silver Fire was still about 5 miles west of the nearest community, but it has left ranchers in this drought-stricken corner of the state with few choices for feeding their cattle. State agriculture officials said the combination of drought and fire has forced some ranchers to ship what remaining cattle they have to other areas, including South Texas.

'There are poor range conditions statewide,' said Les Owen, a range resource specialist with the New Mexico Department of Agriculture. 'Finding grass that doesn't have some cattle on it or some areas of rangeland that haven't been destocked because there's just no grass left is nearly impossible in New Mexico.'"

Susan Montoya Bryan reports for the Associated Press June 25, 2013.

Source: AP, 06/26/2013