DEMING, N.M. — Officials say schools in Deming will close early Thursday so students in the southwestern New Mexico community can get home safely amid forecasts for strong and potentially damaging winds.

The Deming Headlight reports that most schools will close 2½ hours early but that the charter high school will be closed Thursday, and the school district says students will be sheltered at the school if weather conditions deteriorate quickly.

The National Weather Service issued a high wind advisory statewide, with red flag warnings for dangerous fire weather conditions in parts of eastern and northwestern New Mexico.

A weather service advisory for Thursday and Friday warns of sustained winds up to 45 mph (72 kph) and gusts up to 70 mph (113 kph) creating dangerous cross-winds and reducing visibility for drivers.

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