Grass fire consumes more than 8,000 acres

PNT staff report

A grass fire sparked by downed power lines Wednesday burned an estimated 8,000 to 10,000 acres about 14 miles south of Elida.

Speaking from the scene as crews finished mopping up hot spots, Elida Fire Chief Darrell Chenault said the fire started about 3 p.m. and burned oil field equipment, power lines and one old barn near an unoccupied house before crews had it under control about 6:30 p.m. No one was injured.

“The wind was rough,” Chenault said. “It was hard out of the west, probably 30 mph.”

About 40 people and 27 fire trucks from Elida, Dora, Portales, Milnesand, Floyd, Melrose and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management facility in Roswell fought the fire.

Roosevelt County Road Department provided four road graders to make fire lines, and a private rancher provided another.

Chenault said cooperation among departments allowed crews to get the fire under control in a tough situation. He said they hoped the wind wouldn’t restart the fire Thursday.

Firefighters would keep an eye on the site Wednesday night, Chenault said.