Rains fail to quench western US wildfires

June 4 (Reuters) - Rains fell on two massive wildfires in the U.S. southwest but it was not enough to quench the fires that were burning through thousands of acres in New Mexico and Colorado early Monday, officials said.

"The rains came and we're glad of it," said Judith Dyess, a spokeswoman for the joint agency, South West Incident Management Team in New Mexico. "But it didn't do it. We're still burning out of control."

"Overnight the fires calm down some, with the lower humidity," Dyess said, "But we're working around the clock."

Progress was made, she said. The fires were 23 percent contained by early Monday in the larger of the two fires, the so-called Ute Park Fire in Colfax County, New Mexico.

That was a big improvement from the fire being zero percent contained early Sunday before the rains came, Dyess said.

It has already scorched some 30,000 acres near Cimarron, a town of about 1,100 people northeast of Santa Fe, according to a bulletin on the New Mexico Fire Information website.

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Aerial images of California's wildfire devastation
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Aerial images of California's wildfire devastation
An aerial shows damage caused by wildfires in Santa Rosa, California, U.S October 11, 2017. Picture taken October 11, 2017. REUTERS/DroneBase
TOPSHOT - An aerial view shows a burned property in Santa Rosa, California on October 12, 2017. Hundreds of people are still missing in massive wildfires which have swept through California killing at least 26 people and damaging thousands of homes, businesses and other buildings. / AFP PHOTO / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Residences and vineyards burned by wildfires are seen in this aerial photograph taken above Santa Rosa, California, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017. Wildfires that tore through northern California's iconic wine-growing regions have prompted evacuations of more than 20,000 people, killed 11 and damaged some of the most valuable vineyards and wineries in the U.S. About 1,500 commercial, residential and industrial structures were burned, and damage assessment teams have started accounting for the destruction. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An aerial view shows a burned school in Santa Rosa, California on October 12, 2017. Hundreds of people are still missing in massive wildfires which have swept through California killing at least 26 people and damaging thousands of homes, businesses and other buildings. / AFP PHOTO / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
An aerial shows damage caused by wildfires in Santa Rosa, California, U.S October 11, 2017. Picture taken October 11, 2017. REUTERS/DroneBase TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
TOPSHOT - Fire damage is seen from the air in the Coffey Park neighborhood on October 11, 2017, in Santa Rosa, California More than 200 fire engines and firefighting crews from around the country were being rushed to California on Wednesday to help battle infernos which have left at least 21 people dead and thousands homeless. / AFP PHOTO / Elijah Nouvelage (Photo credit should read ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/AFP/Getty Images)
An aerial view shows firefighters working at a burned property in Santa Rosa, California on October 12, 2017. Hundreds of people are still missing in massive wildfires which have swept through California killing at least 26 people and damaging thousands of homes, businesses and other buildings. / AFP PHOTO / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
An aerial shows damage caused by wildfires in Santa Rosa, California, U.S October 11, 2017. Picture taken October 11, 2017. REUTERS/DroneBase
SANTA ROSA, CA - OCTOBER 11: An aerial view of homes that were destroyed by the Tubbs Fire on October 11, 2017 in Santa Rosa, California. At least 21 people have died in wildfires that have burned tens of thousands of acres and destroyed over 3,000 homes and businesses in several Northen California counties. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. crew repairing a downed power line damaged by wildfires are seen in this aerial photograph taken above Santa Rosa, California, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017. Wildfires that tore through northern California's iconic wine-growing regions have prompted evacuations of more than 20,000 people, killed 11 and damaged some of the most valuable vineyards and wineries in the U.S. About 1,500 commercial, residential and industrial structures were burned, and damage assessment teams have started accounting for the destruction. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An aerial shows damage caused by wildfires in Santa Rosa, California, U.S October 11, 2017. Picture taken October 11, 2017. REUTERS/DroneBase
Residences burned by wildfires are seen in this aerial photograph taken above Santa Rosa, California, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017. Wildfires that tore through northern California's iconic wine-growing regions have prompted evacuations of more than 20,000 people, killed 11 and damaged some of the most valuable vineyards and wineries in the U.S. About 1,500 commercial, residential and industrial structures were burned, and damage assessment teams have started accounting for the destruction. Photographer: Chip Chipman/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An aerial shows damage caused by wildfires in Santa Rosa, California, U.S October 11, 2017. Picture taken October 11, 2017. REUTERS/DroneBase
TOPSHOT - Fire damage is seen from the air in the Coffey Park neighborhood October 11, 2017, in Santa Rosa, California. More than 200 fire engines and firefighting crews from around the country were being rushed to California on Wednesday to help battle infernos which have left at least 21 people dead and thousands homeless. / AFP PHOTO / Elijah Nouvelage (Photo credit should read ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/AFP/Getty Images)
An aerial shows damage caused by wildfires in Santa Rosa, California, U.S October 11, 2017. Picture taken October 11, 2017. REUTERS/DroneBase
Fire damage is seen from the air in the Coffey Park neighborhood October 11, 2017, in Santa Rosa, California More than 200 fire engines and firefighting crews from around the country were being rushed to California on Wednesday to help battle infernos which have left at least 21 people dead and thousands homeless. / AFP PHOTO / Elijah Nouvelage (Photo credit should read ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/AFP/Getty Images)
An aerial shows damage caused by wildfires in Santa Rosa, California, U.S October 11, 2017. Picture taken October 11, 2017. REUTERS/DroneBase
Traffic travelling along a highway near a Kmart discount store burned by wildfires is seen in this aerial photograph taken above Santa Rosa, California, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017. Wildfires that tore through northern California's iconic wine-growing regions have prompted evacuations of more than 20,000 people, killed 11 and damaged some of the most valuable vineyards and wineries in the U.S. About 1,500 commercial, residential and industrial structures were burned, and damage assessment teams have started accounting for the destruction. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
An aerial shows damage caused by wildfires in Santa Rosa, California, U.S October 11, 2017. Picture taken October 11, 2017. REUTERS/DroneBase
In this aerial view, burned properties are seen in Santa Rosa, California on October 12, 2017. Hundreds of people are still missing in massive wildfires which have swept through California killing at least 26 people and damaging thousands of homes, businesses and other buildings. / AFP PHOTO / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Fire damage is seen from the air in the Coffey Park neighborhood on October 11, 2017, in Santa Rosa, California More than 200 fire engines and firefighting crews from around the country were being rushed to California on Wednesday to help battle infernos which have left at least 21 people dead and thousands homeless. / AFP PHOTO / Elijah Nouvelage (Photo credit should read ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/AFP/Getty Images)
An aerial shows damage caused by wildfires in Santa Rosa, California, U.S October 11, 2017. Picture taken October 11, 2017. REUTERS/DroneBase
Residences burned by wildfires are seen in this aerial photograph taken above Santa Rosa, California, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017. Wildfires that tore through northern California's iconic wine-growing regions have prompted evacuations of more than 20,000 people, killed 11 and damaged some of the most valuable vineyards and wineries in the U.S. About 1,500 commercial, residential and industrial structures were burned, and damage assessment teams have started accounting for the destruction. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
In this aerial view, burned properties are seen in Santa Rosa, California on October 12, 2017. Hundreds of people are still missing in massive wildfires which have swept through California killing at least 26 people and damaging thousands of homes, businesses and other buildings. / AFP PHOTO / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
TOPSHOT - An aerial view shows burned properties in Santa Rosa, California on October 12, 2017. Hundreds of people are still missing in massive wildfires which have swept through California killing at least 26 people and damaging thousands of homes, businesses and other buildings. / AFP PHOTO / JOSH EDELSON (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Residences burned by wildfires are seen in this aerial photograph taken above Santa Rosa, California, U.S., on Thursday, Oct. 12, 2017. Wildfires that tore through northern California's iconic wine-growing regions have prompted evacuations of more than 20,000 people, killed 11 and damaged some of the most valuable vineyards and wineries in the U.S. About 1,500 commercial, residential and industrial structures were burned, and damage assessment teams have started accounting for the destruction. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images
TOPSHOT - Fire damage is seen from the air in the Coffey Park neighborhood October 11, 2017, in Santa Rosa, California More than 200 fire engines and firefighting crews from around the country were being rushed to California on Wednesday to help battle infernos which have left at least 21 people dead and thousands homeless. / AFP PHOTO / Elijah Nouvelage (Photo credit should read ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/AFP/Getty Images)
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Ten fire crews, totaling 510 people, 32 fire engines, eight helicopters and eight bulldozers, were deployed, officials said.

About 300 structures were threatened in Cimarron, where officials issued a mandatory evacuation order on Friday.

The town lies just northeast of the Santa Fe National Forest, which was closed to the public indefinitely on Friday in a rare measure prompted by the heightened fire risk from prolonged drought.

About a dozen outbuildings went up in flames on an adjacent ranch, fire officials said.

The cause of the fire, which began on Thursday and has been burning through grassland and pine forest, is not known.

A second wildfire started on Friday about 10 miles north of Durango, Colorado, raging across more than 2,255 acres late Sunday and forcing the evacuation of about 1,500 people near the southern border of the San Juan National Forest, the U.S. Forest Service said.

Air tankers dropped a red fire retardant slurry at the weekend on land near the fire 10 miles north of Durango along Highway 550, according to the Denver Post. Six helicopters dropped large buckets of water on the flames.

The fire was 10 percent contained, according to a fire bulletin from the National Weather Service (NWS) early Monday.

"Unfortunately there's no more rain in sight," said Brian Roth, a meteorologist with the NWS's Weather Prediction Center in College Park, Maryland.

"That's it, what they got," he said. "One and done. The rains have moved west into Arizona." (Reporting by Rich McKay in Atlanta Additional reporting by Brendan O'Brien in Milwaukee and Peter Szekely in New York Editing by Paul Tait)

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