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A second person has tragically lost their life in the New Mexico wildfire, though there is hope for relief with the arrival of rain

An air tanker drop fire retardent (Via Hugo Simmons/Shutterstock)

Heavy rain and hail fell on Wednesday near an evacuated village in New Mexico threatened by wildfires. These fires have already claimed two lives and caused damage to over 1,400 structures. While the rain offers some relief to firefighters, it also brings the potential for strong winds and flash floods.

Earlier, air tankers dropped water and red retardant on the fires that are spreading in a mountainous region. Residents of Ruidoso had to evacuate quickly earlier in the week due to one of the larger blazes.

New Mexico State Police reported finding the remains of a second person in a burned vehicle, marking the second confirmed death related to the fires. The first victim was a 60-year-old man found severely burned near the Swiss Chalet Inn in Ruidoso.

Thousands of residents fled the mountainous village (Via Hugo Simmons/Shutterstock)

Weather patterns shifted with moisture coming in from the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, according to Bladen Breitreiter from the National Weather Service office in Albuquerque. He warned of potential scattered thunderstorms that could help with the fires but could also bring gusty winds, complicating firefighting efforts.

Breitreiter also cautioned about the risk of flash flooding in areas recently affected by fires, which could be triggered by the rain.

It remains uncertain whether the rain and hail around Ruidoso directly affected the fires or slowed their spread. The National Weather Service issued a flash flood warning for the area until late Wednesday evening.

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