NM grass fire forces evacuations, consumes 3 homes

AP News
Posted: Apr 17, 2011 8:56 PM
NM grass fire forces evacuations, consumes 3 homes

A grass fire in Curry County that consumed three homes and forced an unknown number of evacuations near the Roosevelt County line was 15 percent contained Sunday evening.

The New Mexico Forestry Department says the blaze began along a highway between the towns of Melrose and Floyd at midmorning Sunday. By dusk, it had burned a nearly 2-mile-wide swath 20 miles to the east, about 17,000 acres.

Crews from Curry and Roosevelt counties and numerous local departments were aiding state crews. Two heavy air tankers were also battling the blaze.

The flames are being driven by easterly winds of about 20 mph.

Forestry spokesman Dan Ware says the blaze started after a vehicle blew a tire and sparks from the rim landed in nearby grass.

No injuries have been reported.