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Carlsbad Caverns fire over 30,000 acres now, 25% contained. Photos.

A 30,500-acre wildfire sparked Monday afternoon, forcing the evacuation and closure of Carlsbad Caverns National Park.

Twenty-two structures, including the visitors’ center, are threatened. Park housing and White City, N.M., are also threatened at this time.

What started as a 40-acres fire had grown to 25,000 in less than 24 hours as officials said 35-mph winds continue to fuel the wildfire.

The Caverns are currently closed and will not open until the fires have been contained.  The cause of the fire is not yet known.

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