Wildfire burns on NM ranch owned by Sam Donaldson

AP News
Posted: Jun 28, 2011 10:23 PM
Wildfire burns on NM ranch owned by Sam Donaldson

Firefighters are battling a pair of blazes that have scorched 15,000 acres on two ranches in southern New Mexico, including one owned by veteran newsman Sam Donaldson.

Precautionary evacuations were being conducted Tuesday evening in Alamo Canyon.

Authorities say five ranch structures, including one primary residence, within the fire perimeter were threatened. It's unclear whether the buildings were located on Donaldson's ranch. Fire officials have been in contact with Donaldson's ranch manager.

The fires were believed to have been caused by lightning. Fire officials say storms moved over the area Monday, resulting in a couple thousand lightning strikes.

Air tankers, engines and ground crews are trying to corral the fires, which burned together Tuesday afternoon.

The fires were moving through steep terrain covered with pinion trees and grass, and crews were bracing for stronger winds overnight.