The Portales Fire Department is estimating 2,200 to 2,500 acres for the Blackwater Fire that ignited Tuesday on a U.S. 70 median then moved northeast towards New Mexico Highway 202.
The New Mexico State Forestry Division said Wednesday the fire has been slowed, but is not yet contained.
Another fire broke out on the northwest side of U.S. 70 Wednesday in the late afternoon. Three Portales fire units responded and one Clovis tanker.
Portales Battalion Chief Mike Golden said they suspect the fire was caused by a cigarette butt.
“Luckily we didn’t have the wind we’ve been having and that was a benefiting factor,” Golden said. “One thing I really want to drive home with the public is please, please be careful with your cigarettes. It takes practically nothing as far as heat to get a fire started because we are so dry.”
The fire is estimated to have burned one acre and was extinguished quickly.
A third fire broke out Wednesday in Roosevelt County about 4 p.m. at Roosevelt roads T and 8.
When workers were cutting rebar for a cattle guard, a spark ignited nearby grass.
Golden said the fire was about 30 feet by 15 feet.
“When I arrived on scene, the sheriff’s office was already there, and they were fighting it with a shovel, and that was a big help,” Golden said. “One thing that is very helpful is if people see a small fire, they should try to stomp it out or put it out with a shovel. Just be safe. If it’s large flames, don’t get anywhere near it. But when it’s a small fire, that could save a lot of problems.”