Two small fires quickly contained on Sunday

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As winds swept through Socorro County on Sunday, county fire crews battled two small blazes.

County Fire Marshall Fred Hollis said one fire was on Hwy. 91, between Escondida and Lemitar, on the old Kelly Ranch.

“There was some trash and brush burning in a pit,” Hollis said. “It didn’t make it to even a half acre.”

The second fire that day was on the north end of Hwy. 408, out towards the irrigation ditch, he said.

Hollis said the cause of that brush fire was nearby power lines sending sparks into a tree and onto the ground.

The fire burned up the ditch bank, scorching nearly a half mile of grass.

The Midway and San Antonio fire departments and Bureau of Land Management fire crews responded to the ditch fire. Hollis said Mark Wheeler, with the BLM, was the incident commander for the event.

“It did get near some structures, and burned some piles of materials near houses,” Hollis said. “It burned a lot of brush and made a lot of smoke.”

Hollis said the department had to cut down the large cottonwood tree the lines hit.

With spring winds in full force, Hollis said most people are careful.

“But I do want to people it’s going to be a dry year and to be very careful,” he said.

On Tuesday, Hollis said he met with representatives from county fire departments, BLM, state forestry and fish and wildlife to come up with a strategic plan for the spring fire season.

“It was a productive meeting to set up how to attack different fires this season, who going is going to be the initial attacker,” Hollis said.

 


-- Email the author at jdendinger@news-bulletin.com.