Drought could extend fire season

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Alisa Boswell Usually, August and September would mean the end of fire season is approaching for Roosevelt County. But according to state and local fire officials, that may not be the case this year. “This fire season is very comparable to the fire season in 2006,” said Dan Ware, spokesperson for the New Mexico Forestry […]

Grass fire burns 1,500 acres

A grass fire burned 1,500 acres about 10 miles north-northwest of Elida on Monday, said Elida Fire Chief Rusty Cater. No one was injured, and no structures burned. Cater said a cutting torch started the blaze.

House fire investigated

Freedom New Mexico Firefighters extinguished flames in an unoccupied house in the 1600 block of South Globe Street about 4:30 a.m. Tuesday. One room and the ceiling of another room were damaged, said fire investigator Mike Inge. Inge said the cause was unknown, but nothing appeared suspicious. The electricity wasn’t hooked up, and the house […]

Fire leaves about 1,300 without electricity

A fire on a power line caused 1,355 Xcel Energy customers in Portales to lose electricity Friday night. Xcel spokesman Wes Reeves said it appeared a lightning arrester failed in the 100 block of South Avenue E, causing the current to run onto the utility pole and start a fire. The fire burned the line […]

Fire officials dissuade use of fireworks

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Alisa Boswell With extreme drought conditions in New Mexico, local fire officials are saying it’s probably best for Clovis and Portales residents to not set off fireworks at home. Portales Fire Chief Gary Nuckols and Clovis Fire Chief Ray Westerman both agreed that while fireworks are banned in the county and only certain ground fireworks […]

Scientists monitor air as fire burns near N.M. lab

The Associated Press LOS ALAMOS — As crews fight to keep a New Mexico wildfire from reaching the nation’s premier nuclear-weapons laboratory and the surrounding community, scientists are busy sampling the air for chemicals and radiological materials. Their effort includes dozens of fixed-air monitors on the ground, as well as a “flying laboratory” dispatched by […]

Los Alamos nuclear lab under siege from wildfire

The Associated Press LOS ALAMOS — A wildfire burning near the desert birthplace of the atomic bomb advanced on the Los Alamos laboratory and thousands of outdoor drums of plutonium-contaminated waste Tuesday as authorities stepped up efforts to protect the site and monitor the air for radiation. Officials at the nation’s premier nuclear weapons lab […]

Grassfire on Curry and Quay county line under control

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Liliana Castillo and Sharna Johnson Officials estimate a fire Saturday on the Curry and Quay county line burned 20,000 to 25,000 acres. Karen Burns with the Clovis Fire Department said the number is a rough estimate and officials will get a better figure in daylight. Five structures were burned but there were no injuries, she […]

County burn bans include fireworks

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Sharna Johnson With ongoing drought and high fire risk, only the professionals get to play with fireworks in Eastern New Mexico this year. Burn bans are active in Curry and Roosevelt counties this year with officials going a step further to pass restrictions on the use and sale of fireworks out of fear of fire. […]

Two fires break out in Roosevelt County

Alisa Boswell 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 […]

Roosevelt fire scorches more than 2,000 acres

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Staff and wire reports Firefighters were expecting to be up most of the night watching the remnants of a fire that broke out Tuesday along a median on U.S. Highway 70 near Blackwater Draw Museum and quickly spread east for five miles behind 50 mph winds. The fire was reported about 2 p.m. and estimated […]

Fire near Milnesand contained

PNT staff report Fire burned an estimated 2,596 acres Sunday afternoon at Roosevelt Road 35 and Highway 206 near Milnesand, but was contained on Roosevelt Road 35 within half a mile of Roosevelt Road M. “Our main concern was keeping it from Road 33 because there were two structures over there,” said Milnesand Fire Chief […]

Fire chief: Firefighters’ job varies

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Alisa Boswell Most Portales firefighters say their job is no life of glamour but they wouldn’t trade it for anything. Preschool tours, car accidents, community events and fires are just a few of the daily and weekly activities which take up a Portales firefighters time. “You can be playing with kids one minute and be […]

Grass fire consumes 5,000 acres

Sharna Johnson A grass fire east of Melrose Tuesday burned about 5,000 acres before firefighters were able to gain control of it. Clovis Fire Chief Ray Westerman said after about three hours, fire crews were able to stop the fire that started about 11 a.m. east of Melrose along U.S. 60/84. Melrose Mayor Tuck Monk […]

Firefighters contain grassfire

A grassfire burned about 1,000 acres three miles west of Floyd Saturday at 4:30 p.m. The Floyd, Elida and Melrose fire departments responded with 12 units. According to Floyd Fire Chief Allen Deen, the fire started when a trailer carrying hay caught fire. The fire was fully contained at 7:20 p.m. Deen said no structure […]

Fire damage estimate climbs to 71,000 acres

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By Argen Duncan and Sharna Johnson Approximately 71,000 acres burned in Curry and Roosevelt counties in a massive grass fire April 17 — more than four times initial estimates, making the fire the area’s largest in more than 30 years. Melrose Fire Chief Kenny Jacobs said last week he drove the fire line to survey […]

Letters to the editor: First responders deserve thanks

First responders deserve thanks On behalf of the Portales Fire Department administration and staff, we would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the fire departments, emergency management, law enforcement, county road departments, C&S Oil, KSEL radio, Great Wide, First Baptist Church in Portales, University Baptist Church and all individuals for their assistance […]

New bill would increase combat pay

Senior Airman Christy Weidenbach Alisa Boswell By Alisa Boswell Cannon Connections California Rep. Jerry McNerney is pushing for an increase in hazardous duty pay, hostile fire pay and family separation allowance for military members after visiting U.S. troops in Afghanistan. The Combat Act of 2011 would increase hazardous duty pay and family separation allowance by […]

Community recovering after 17,000-acre grassfire

Sharna Johnson For about $20,000, five miles of fence line can be replaced. But no amount of money can bring life back to burned grassland. Grass is priceless to Britni Sherwood and her family, who are left with nothing but charred and blowing sand after a massive fire Sunday consumed all but a small area […]

In their words: Responders, residents recall fire

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Brian Victor, who lives off Highway 467 just before the Roosevelt County line, said Sunday’s fire came within inches of his home. Victor said he and most of his family were in Clovis around 1:30 p.m. the day of the fire, preparing to go to the movies when he received a phone call telling him […]